Lack of poetic justice inspires award-winning GP

Finding inspiration for poetry can be difficult when you’re a doctor – there is often a lot of dark subject matter and not a whole lot of light, says GP and medical administrator Dr Chris Swan.

Presenting at last week’s AMA (NSW) Creative Doctors night, Dr Swan, told his audience that while his wife has accused him of writing a lot of dark poetry, most of his work is “the sunshine part”.

Dr Swan’s poem, ‘Laughter from the back of the Ambulance’, won the people’s choice award.

“They need to make the unthinkable unthought,” Dr Swan said of his poem, which discussed the need for medicos to ignore or suppress the sad and occasionally horrific elements of their work. 

GP and psychotherapist Dr Margaret Gottlieb’s poem, ‘What about me’, was also a stand-out on the night. 

Her poem, based on a patient’s experience of being exploited by