Listening is the key skill

PERSUASION might trump evidence in politics, and evidence might prevail in medicine, but it’s the ability to listen that is the key to success in both, according to Greens leader and former GP Dr Bob Brown.

That was the message for Sydney University students who gathered last week to hear from three politicians who started their careers in medicine.

The Doctors in Politics seminar was part of an ongoing series examining controversies and leadership in health, and featured Dr Brown along with former GP and one-time Federal Liberal senator Professor Peter Baume and practising paediatrician and NSW Shadow Health Minister Dr Andrew McDonald.

Dr Brown said some of the most important skills he learned as a GP in Tasmania were to listen to patients and to practise preventive medicine, both of which were applicable to his current occupation.

“I loved being a GP,” he said. “I made mistakes, but I also had a fantastic