16 episodes

Welcome to the This Medical Life podcast. Our mission is to share stories about the triumphs and tragedies of diseases and illnesses from ancient times up until what we know today. It is about those scientific and medical minds who came before us and how, every single day, we stand on the shoulders of giants. This is a podcast about the stories of medicine.


Hosted by Dr. Travis Brown and Steve Davis, our target audience is General Practitioners, medical students, and other health professionals. We hope to educate, inspire and celebrate those who choose to care for others in their profession. From experience, we know that our audience extends beyond these fields and would like to welcome anyone to listen. The stories of those who came before us are nothing short of remarkable and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Production by Tim Whiffen

Design by Tom Buzz

This Medical Life Auscast Network

    • Health & Fitness

Welcome to the This Medical Life podcast. Our mission is to share stories about the triumphs and tragedies of diseases and illnesses from ancient times up until what we know today. It is about those scientific and medical minds who came before us and how, every single day, we stand on the shoulders of giants. This is a podcast about the stories of medicine.


Hosted by Dr. Travis Brown and Steve Davis, our target audience is General Practitioners, medical students, and other health professionals. We hope to educate, inspire and celebrate those who choose to care for others in their profession. From experience, we know that our audience extends beyond these fields and would like to welcome anyone to listen. The stories of those who came before us are nothing short of remarkable and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Production by Tim Whiffen

Design by Tom Buzz

    Episode 16: Q (Query) Fever | The Abbatoir Ailment & Coxiella Burnetti

    Episode 16: Q (Query) Fever | The Abbatoir Ailment & Coxiella Burnetti

    In the 1930s, outbreaks of a mysterious febrile illness occurred with abattoir workers in Queensland in Australia. Physicians investigated these patients but no cause was able to be identified. To complicate matters, there wasn’t any consistency between those who got sick, the area where they worked in the abattoir nor the animals with which they worked with. Hence, the name has come to us as ‘Q’ (meaning ‘Query’) fever.

    It would take significant investigative skills and an outbreak in the United States to confirm the diagnosis. Today, the causative agent is called Coxiella burnetti.

    This is the story of Q fever.

    Support the show: https://theadelaideshow.com.au/listen-or-download-the-podcast/adelaide-in-crowd/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 41 min
    Episode 15: Lynch Syndrome & Hereditary Non Polyposis Colon Cancer (HNPCC) | Premonitions of a Seamstress

    Episode 15: Lynch Syndrome & Hereditary Non Polyposis Colon Cancer (HNPCC) | Premonitions of a Seamstress

    Pauline Gross was a seamstress in 1895 who had seen family members die at an early age from cancer. At the time, one of her clients was a pathologist by the name of Dr Aldred Scott Warthin and confided in him her fear that that this would be her fate too. The two combined to record the most comprehensive family history ever created. Dr Warthin called them ‘Family G’.

    In the 1960s, Dr Henry T Lynch who revived the search for the members of Family G. Through family gatherings and meetings, he managed to track down over 650 family members, of which, 95 had a history of cancer. He noted that they had an Autosomal Dominant disorder that increased their incidence of uterine and gastrointestinal cancers. Dr Lynch called it a ‘Cancer Family Syndrome’. Today, it is known as Lynch syndrome.

    Our special guests include:
    Ami McKay: an award winning novelist who has written ‘Daughter of Family G/Before my time: a memoir of love & fate’. Ami has also produced the radio documentary ‘Daughter of Family G’ available at amimckay.com
    Dr Tristan Rutland: Anatomical pathologists at Liverpool hospital and based at Western Sydney University with a PhD in colorectcal cancer. Dr Rutland was the recipient of the Konrad Muller RCPA Outstanding Teaching Award


    Professor Graeme Suthers: National Director of Genetics for Sonic Pathology Australia who trained in clinical and laboratory genetics in Sydney, Adelaide, and Oxford.

    This is the story of Lynch syndrome.

    Support the show: https://theadelaideshow.com.au/listen-or-download-the-podcast/adelaide-in-crowd/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Episode 14: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Mad cow & Prion disease | The Bovine Blender

    Episode 14: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Mad cow & Prion disease | The Bovine Blender

    In 1951, Australian anthropologists reported on a unique neurodegenerative disease from Papua New Guinea. The natives called it ‘Kuru’ which meant to tremble or to be afraid and it certainly struck fear into those who saw it.

    Through amazing investigative work and serendipity, a veterinary pathologist in the United States saw the histology of a Kuru from the brain and noted it looked a lot like ‘Scrapie’ (a neurodegenerative disease in sheep) and the link was made.

    It would not be until 1980s that the causative agent for these diseases was identified: Prion’s.

    And then in the 1990s, cows in the United Kingdom began showing symptoms…

    This is the story of Prion disease

    Support the show: https://theadelaideshow.com.au/listen-or-download-the-podcast/adelaide-in-crowd/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 51 min
    Episode 13: Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) | Encephalitis epidemics

    Episode 13: Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) | Encephalitis epidemics

    In 1924, a previously well 20 year old woman presented to hospital with a headache and general fatigue. Her condition rapidly deteriorated and she died in 6 days. Over 6000 cases occurred within 1924. The search was on to find the cause. Fortunately, in 1935, a breakthrough occurred.

    We know the virus today as the Japanese Encephalitis Virus. The vast majority of people who become infected with JEV are either oblivious (asymptomatic) or only have mild non-specific viral symptoms (ie. fever). However, those who are very unwell and require hospitalisation have significant risks of morbidity and mortality.

    In 2022, cases of JEV have been identified in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. This is the first time cases have been recorded this far south. We know that JEV is endemic in at least 24 countries around Asia. Is Australia going to become the 25th?

    This is the story of Japanese Encephalitis Virus.

    Support the show: https://theadelaideshow.com.au/listen-or-download-the-podcast/adelaide-in-crowd/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 34 min
    Episode 12 : Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) | Putting the 'I' in ITP

    Episode 12 : Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) | Putting the 'I' in ITP

    In 1951, two Haematology fellows, Dr William Harrington and Dr James Hollingsworth, agreed upon an experiment. They would ask the next patient with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) to donate 500ml of blood. Then, whoever was a blood-type match would get the transfusion and see if they got the disease. The results were immediate and dramatic.

    Surprisingly, the fact that platelets are the foundation of coagulation and derived from megakaryocytes have only been known for just over a century. Our understanding during this time has been exponential but the key to ITP remains in its name: idiopathic. Yes, we actually don't know the cause of this disease. Fortunately, there is a lot about ITP that we do know.

    Our special guest is Dr Nicholas Myles who is a General Haematologist and Senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide.

    This is the story of ITP.

    Support the show: https://theadelaideshow.com.au/listen-or-download-the-podcast/adelaide-in-crowd/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 40 min
    Episode 11: The Great Plague | Yersinia Pestis & The Impending Doom

    Episode 11: The Great Plague | Yersinia Pestis & The Impending Doom

    In 1347, the European world encountered one of history’s greatest tragedies: the great plague. Today, it is known by many names: the black death, the black plague, or the great mortality. Whatever name we give it though, one thing is clear: those who lived through this time genuinely believed this disease would eradicate of humanity

    The true toll of this plague is unknown. Tens of millions of people were killed and those that weren’t, were scarred in every way imaginable. This disease would ravage European cities and countries for 7 years before it finally relented. Amazingly, it would only be 9 years before another plague epidemic appeared. They called this one the ‘Children’s plague’.

    Join us with this episode to study the disease that is responsible for millions of deaths in history and still exists with us today.

    This is the story of the black plague and Yersinia pestis.

    Support the show: https://theadelaideshow.com.au/listen-or-download-the-podcast/adelaide-in-crowd/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 36 min

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