Mes­sage from heart

Melville Times - - Front Page - Aaron Cor­lett

NIKKI Stamp prom­ises to get to the heart of some se­ri­ous health is­sues at an up­com­ing talk.

The Fiona Stan­ley Hos­pi­tal heart and lung sur­geon will present as part of the Fiona Wood Pub­lic Lec­ture Se­ries on Novem­ber 13.

Dr Stamp has been a so­cial cam­paigner and an ad­vo­cate for the #ILookLikeASur­geon move­ment in Aus­tralia, which started to chal­lenge stereo­types.

“A lot of peo­ple think sur­geons tend to be older men, they have a par­tic­u­lar per­son­al­ity and they think we do noth­ing but work,” she said.

“That cam­paign showed sur­geons from so many dif­fer­ent ages, races and back­grounds do­ing things like par­ent­ing, triathlons and char­ity work.

“It’s grown into aca­demic, ed­u­ca­tional col­lab­o­ra­tion, clin­i­cal col­lab­o­ra­tion, friend­ships, schol­ar­ships and it’s opened doors for peo­ple.”

Dr Stamp said she hoped to en­gage the au­di­ence at her lec­ture and en­cour­age them to take care of them­selves.

“Some­times I chal­lenge them to put me out of a job. I want peo­ple to see be­hind the scenes and de­mys­tify what we do and fall in love with how amaz­ing our body ma­chin­ery is,” she said.

“There is a lot of in­for­ma­tion about health around at the mo­ment and not all of it comes from great sources.

“I do re­ally sim­ple things, eat a healthy diet with lots of veg­gies, don’t smoke, ex­er­cise; it doesn’t have to be fancy or ex­pen­sive – con­trol your stress and talk to your doc­tor.”

Dr Stamp has also writ­ten a book called Can You Die of Bro­ken Heart?.

“It’s one of the most com­mon ques­tions I get asked in so­cial sit­u­a­tions,” she said.

“It’s not an ex­er­cise pro­gram or diet advice, it was a way of shar­ing with peo­ple what I love about the heart and how amaz­ing our bod­ies are. Pre­ven­ta­tive medicine is a re­ally im­por­tant part of what I do be­cause 80 per cent of heart dis­ease is pre­ventable.

“The an­swer (to the book’s ques­tion) is tech­ni­cally yes but most of us will be fine.”­mu­ni­ d487727 Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek

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