BY COLIN VICKERY You shot to fame after winning What are your memories of the show? I remember the smell of dust. No matter what you did, there was always dust! Aside from that it was great fun. It was exhausting, but that was just part of the fun, and I think it’s just my warped sense of entertainment, but constantly being under the pressure of renovating, studying and dealing with TV cameras was exciting. How often do you pick up a hammer these days? Swung a hammer the other day actually . . . straight into my thumb. Being a doctor comes in handy when you’re a clumsy renovator.
has given you the opportunity to tackle serious health issues. What do you hope people get from your segments on the show? Health and medicine can be daunting and confusing for anyone, so I try to keep things simple for people and hopefully make understanding health engaging and entertaining. What’s the most confronting thing for you in spending 24 hours in emergency? Having to break bad news to patients and loved ones is by far the hardest and most confronting part of the job. I’ve heard that many doctors who work in emergency get frustrated at the amount of patients with drug and alcohol related problems. Did you find that when you were a registrar in emergency? During certain shifts it can feel like your time is being taken up, mostly by intoxicated people, and it can definitely get frustrating . . . but it’s part of the job and you have to find ways to manage. But I will not tolerate verbal or physical abuse to nursing staff. They do an amazing job under extremely tough conditions. Your special report on emergency work (screening tonight) is set to show things from both the patients’ and doctors’ sides. So what do you think of Australia’s hospital system? The doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, researchers in this country undergo world class training and do an amazing job. What sort of qualities does a doctor need to shine in emergency? If you don’t faint at the sight of blood, vomit when people talk about their bowel habits and get turned off parenting by snotty-nosed children then you tick a lot of the boxes. Throw in a level head, a passion for the unpredictable and a dash of humour and you’re there. The 7PM Project, Channel 10, weeknights, 7pm