Teaching the art of medicine

THE way Tasmanian GP supervisor Dr Geoff Shannon sees it, the more scientific medicine becomes, the more he has to teach about its application.

“What I’ve got to offer is wisdom,” he said after garnering a nomination for supervisor of the year in the 2011 MO/GPET awards.

“The younger ones seem to get the science well taught, and they learn it well, so the way I see my role as a supervisor of general practice is to teach them the art of medicine.”

Dr Shannon, who began as a paediatrician before switching to general practice 16 years ago, sees family medicine as an art – and one that is far more difficult to master than the science that serves as its foundation.

“It’s very easy to learn the science, but to actually apply it is much more difficult,” he said.

“There isn’t necessarily a right and a wrong way, it has to be a match between what the patient expects and