#SeriouslySocial The Podcast
with Simone Douglas and special guest Dr Nick Tellis
Our guest today is GP Dr. Nick Tellis. He chats with Simone about healthy alcohol consumption, holistic health, and the challenges of working in the health sector during a pandemic.
Connect with Dr. Nick here:
Facebook (practice) https://m.facebook.com/partridgegp
Practice website: www.partridgegp.com.au
Check out our page for updates and teasers about upcoming episodes, links, and details about Simone’s best-selling books.
Hosted by Simone Douglas
Videography by Marie Carbone
Audio by Chris Irving
Music used in this episode is “Alte Herren” by KieLoKaz, used with permission under a Creative Commons Licence
This production is protected by a creative commons CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence
Chris Irving 0:00
Welcome to the seriously social podcast with your host, Simone Douglas. Our guest today is GP Dr. Nick tell us, he chats with Simone about healthy alcohol consumption, holistic health, and the challenges of working in the health sector during a pandemic.
Simone Douglas 0:19
Today, I’m joined by Dr. Nick from parcher cheapy. Nick, thanks for joining us today. Perhaps we can start with the cliff notes version of who you are, what you’re all about and how you ended up here.
Nick Tellis 0:32
Hi, I’m Dr. Nick. I’m sure that’s not trademarked. I am a doctor I studied in Adelaide, I went over to Western Australia did a little bit of work there came back did a bit of everything. that bit of everything brought me to starting my own practice seven years ago now. And as part of becoming a business owner, as well as the doctor, that brought me to BNI. And that has brought me in connection with Simone. And here we are,
Simone Douglas 1:00
we’ve got to love networking, really. So in your areas of practice, what’s been the most interesting thing that you’ve got to do as the general practitioner?
Nick Tellis 1:14
Well? Well, before I was a GP, I did track site doctor for the clipsal 500. I did some prison medicine, some work with the remand Center, a little bit of ICU work. Okay, a couple of years of emergency work, visiting medical officer for boxing, si, wow. little bits and pieces, all of those things have sort of got me to where I am today
Simone Douglas 1:41
and shaped your approach to medicine over time. Yeah, cool. What do you think is the biggest challenge to GP’s as a whole when it comes to telling their stories?
Nick Tellis 1:57
Well, I would probably say that GP’s are a very disparate group. bit like herding cats. I think every GP is slightly different. One of the things I think that gets people into the gig, yes, they they like autonomy and general practitioner, the name gives it away. There’s a lot of general in there. So one practitioners general practice can be very, very different to another practitioners general practice, but I think the commonalities are, you’re a doctor. You’re there to help. Yeah, communication is paramount. And continuity of care, longitudinal care, looking after someone through their lifetime. Yeah, well, I’ve got hospital where you go to hospital, there’s lots of fancy machines, lots of intervention, you mainly you shut up and get what you’re given. But people go to hospital, they go back to the community. That’s where they come from. That’s hopefully where they’re going. And that’s where the GP’s are. So
Simone Douglas 3:01
yeah, that makes sense. I think it raises an interesting point, too, because GP’s will often deal with all the generations of a family as well. And so, you know, from that, in depth understanding of medical history across generations, it’s pretty fascinating stuff over thought.
Nick Tellis 3:21
It would be lovely if the the CRM software is sort of married up with the EMR the electronic medical record, I used to work in the in the country. And we had an electronic medical record system. And when you went over the road to the local pub, over the door of the pub was the 100 Club over the pub. So all the people who smashed down 100 schooners, pints, yeah, the course of their time at the pub, and always thought to be a fantastic thing if I can get that 100 board and import it into my medical software. So I suspected being on that board was a risk factor for pretty much everything. You’d care to know.
Simone Douglas 4:03
Nick Tellis 4:05
I shouldn’t say that to a pub owner.
Simone Douglas 4:08
I think it’s everything in moderation. Because funnily enough, you know, when we took over the Duke of Brunswick three years ago, one of the things that I was very passionate about is not a popular standpoint for a Republican in the city is I we ripped out all gambling, so I’m very like anti gambling, I’m reasonably well known for that. I don’t like what it does to people. And I also think that it detracts from, like in in a hotel setting. it detracts from actually being social. So if you’re sat there staring at a screen, you’ve got a keynote to get in your head or a TV ticket. We’re putting money into a poker machine, you’re not relating to the people around you. You’re actually putting barriers in the way and likewise you need to have some moderation with you know, your alcohol intake. One of the things that I love most about the Duke of Brunswick is that we got to break all the rules. About what a pump is meant to be. So you know, if I had told him in fact, when I worked for a very large hotel chain that shall remain nameless, because have very deep pockets. But you know, I wanted to send the hotel that I was working for I wanted the menu to be 100% gluten free back then. And that would have been before my 13 year old was born, so 13 years ago, and was told that I was mad that couldn’t do it. That was ridiculous. You know, all these things. And because it was a big company, there was a state manager above me that went No, Simone. Okay, fair enough. And then when I found this pot by accident, I was like, Okay, well, you know, eventually we’re like, well, let’s just go 100% gluten free, mostly so that I can eat whatever was in the kitchen. And the beauty of that was it turned out that, you know, there was this complete untapped market of the families of celiacs, who just wanted to go out and enjoy a family dinner where they can pick off each other’s plates, especially kids without the fear and the stress and having successfully glutened myself once or twice when I thought I would be okay, I totally, it’s not a very pleasant experience, I wouldn’t be so. But it’s also that thing of by creating that kind of family and community environment, we don’t get that access, we don’t get the people coming here to write themselves off or drink till midnight. And you know, it’s very rare. We tried that light anyway. I’m probably again, unpopular in that I wouldn’t mind if we were, you know, going back to six o’clock closing on a Sunday, although the six o’clock skull was never a particularly good thing, sending really drunk people home to their significant others. On that note, though, what do you think is, you know, the biggest challenge from a health perspective, when you’ve got environments like this, where you’ve got something that is a drug, ostensibly that does have negative, you know, effects on your health, when you do it to access? What’s the biggest challenge for society in general, when it comes to this stuff?
Nick Tellis 7:07
I think we see that there are a lot of approaches to this, you can have a top down, controlling way of dealing with things. And you can have a no rules, everything goes. And we can see because we’ve got the benefit of many competing systems in the world or in Have a look, he can have a look at the social credit score in China. And you can see that they’ve got one way of dealing with public licentiousness. And then you can go to Somalia, the ultimate libertarian paradise and see how they deal with it. I’ve never been to China or Somalia, I doubt that’s going to change in the near future. No, I think my personal thought is I like as a doctor, and as business owner, I like to deal with the people who want to deal with me. So there’s got to be a bit of alignment there. So yeah, the people that see me, as a patient, generally are quite aligned to my way of thinking, yeah, one of the ways I’ve used social media is to start that conversation outside of my premises. Yeah, it was very important to me that my front of house staff are treated very, very well with the face of the business. They’re valued employees, their friends, their colleagues. And their job is not to wear things in the waiting that
Simone Douglas 8:31
Nick Tellis 8:32
Yeah, people often will, will not go in and sound off at the doctor, but they’ll sound off at the staff. And so one of the things you can Google my name, and you will come up with the website, the blog, the Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and so on. It does not take very much to see that I’m not a big fan of prescribing narcotics. Yeah, I’m not a big fan of prescribing benzodiazepines, Valium, or sleeping medications. I have some ideas on diet and alcohol and some other things. And the people that don’t agree with those things, see that? And they don’t come in? Yeah, like, and they can go and see someone else. There are plenty of people who will deal with people who think differently to me. It’s not like they’re not served. But the people who read what I say and what I think and I think you know what, I can work with that. And that’s something that resonates with me. Brilliant. Come on in. Let’s let’s have a conversation. So that’s how I would deal with it. I don’t have a one size fits all strategy for everyone. A grand unifying theory of everything. Yeah, I think for every person like yourself who runs from what I can see a fantastic establishment. I’ve been here a couple of times. It certainly does. Stick out from the run of the mill. pubs to us, even sitting down here for 20 minutes today. can hear people having conversations music isn’t too loud. The staff have always been super engaging, I think it is, it’s an awesome little oasis of a place to be. But we can walk, you know, 10 minutes direction and find something very different. And it goes, value offerings will be consumed by different
Simone Douglas 10:14
other people. Yeah. And I think that raises a really good point, you know, medical practice no different to any other business, you have your own neichs as well, whether it just because it has general practice, as the term is still we all as business owners end up doing work with the clients or patients that we are meant to be working with, like, if we’re clever, we get, you know, clarity around messaging, we tell our stories very well, well on our digital channels, so that we appeal to the right people. What do you wish someone had told you in your first year of business? So let’s just forget that it’s medical practice, you guys are bound by a lot more rules than the average bear. But you know, what one piece of advice do you wish someone had given you in your first year that would have saved you a lot of angst and headache.
Nick Tellis 11:05
When I graduated from university, I really wanted to work. I think some people just don’t want to study, they want to be the eternal student, I did my medical degree so that I could work. That was my gig. And so I moved from being a junior medical officer through to a fully qualified doctor and then almost immediately, essentially went as a sole trader. So I’ve been a sole trader for 17 and a half years now. Wow. So even from day dot, I was a business of one sort of scaled that to the current day where I don’t have to do all the work myself and I can work on the business rather than in the business. But one thing that that I’ve thought so many times, I wish someone had just gone back and said, he probably should pay a bit of attention, learn to type. Yeah, okay. Learn to Touch type would have been such a weapons grade part of a talent stack. Yeah, it would have paid for itself. And it’s quite hard to sort of develop that motor skill. In retrospect, I’ve got a modified hunt and peck technique now,
Simone Douglas 12:21
kind of mind,
Nick Tellis 12:22
I can type I can, you know, get about 50-60 words a minute, I see that the guys coming through and, and female doctors as well, 50% of our doctors are female, and they can touch type, so they can talk to the prostitutes have client patients, but yeah, you know, they can, they can talk to you and touch type at the same time wears off, I can’t do that. So that that would have been a great, great addition,
Simone Douglas 12:46
it would speed up econsults without being able to take medical notes and speak to the patient,
Nick Tellis 12:51
all the technology we have, we still have not found a great solution in the general practice space of getting the info into the computer. And it’s, it’s a bugbear of mine, as I move forwards that you’re almost having a little bit of conversation with the computer, when you really want to be having conversation with the person who’s paying for you to you know, have a child with them. Yeah, and we don’t do that in any other sphere of endeavor. We don’t have one to ones in BMI, we don’t have personal meetings, we don’t do all these other things with the the technology sort of intruding that much. Yeah, we’re not typing this up, you know, we can we’ve got this recorded, we can live transcribe it on rev.com Yeah, they’re not sponsoring me, by the way or something like that. But the the medical consultation, that’s that’s the next frontier, as far as release
Simone Douglas 13:39
isn’t is definitely a business opportunity there. And I suppose some unique challenges in terms of interfacing with what is highly confidential information that needs to go into the places that it needs to go. I think the legal sphere is probably another industry that has those same challenges because often, and we do it funnily enough, we do a lot of work in Lego and a lot of work in medical. And they both have really unique guidelines. So you know, you guys are bound by APA guidelines. You go jump on an aeroplane, not well, not these days. But let’s go to the States. If you’re in America, and you’re adopting, say, whatever the hell you want on social media, pretty much You know,
Nick Tellis 14:22
some some people, some people think that, you know, without, you know, sort of de railing the whole topic, the shouting fire in a crowded theater quite a bit. Yeah. And I think one of the things I’ve always thought, especially when dealing with with opera is you get a lot of free kicks in medicine, or someone could come into your room and you can have a deep meaningful conversation with them inside of 60 seconds with stuff that they’ve never told anyone before. There are things that happen in a consultation that you would be arrested for if you did it out on the street. So to barfing comics with great power comes great responsibility. And you need to be aware of that. And if you’re running around, you know, sort of sounding off on every given topic without an awareness of how that’s going to come across, you will come to the attention to the attention opera. And you know, people have done that. I think one guy got on various sort of use network, or some sort of forum sounding off about this, that and the other and then found that his medical licensing sort of disappeared.
Simone Douglas 15:30
Yeah. And I seem to remember that story,
Nick Tellis 15:33
regardless of what this bloke said, you know, it all sounded ridiculous to me. But whatever he said, the prime bit of stupidity, for me was the absolute lack of insight that made him think that he could sound off on these controversial topics, without fear of reprisal. Yeah, that that was the bit of professional silliness.
Simone Douglas 15:58
Yeah, well, that. But I suppose that’s also indicative of a very ego driven human being, who, thankfully, they’re not. To go back to what you’re saying for them, not the kinds of people that tend to stay in my world for very long. We like the people that you know, can let other people have oxygen too. So always a good thing. So I guess, what is the biggest challenge them for you? Or the biggest opportunity? Do you think, in your industry, when it comes to digital channels and storytelling?
Nick Tellis 16:34
I think I saw a little social media graphic. And it was saying, what’s what’s been the big thing for electronic advancement in your industry, and people are always my CIO, it was our business plan. It was that and then it was a big wrecking ball with COVID-19 on. Yeah, that did. The amount of paper and let’s be frank, just absolute busy work and Bs than infests my profession is huge. And I, I’ve been hearing this this yakking for many moons, and we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that. And then all of a sudden, bang, February. telehealth is here, you can add cell phone, you can consult over video, we you will be familiar with these little bits of paper with your prescriptions on that’s, that’s going electronic hasn’t already the various sort of legal issues with with transmitting scripts and other things. I’ve lost count of the amount of people that complain to me in the medical sphere about email being not a secure method of communication. I know it. I know. It’s like a postcard and OCD. It’s putting your stuff. No one cares. No. Okay, for value speed over security in this instance. Yeah. So we’ve done that. And we see now that we’ve got, you know, sort of token prescriptions, you should be able to very, very soon, we can just push a prescription to your phone, to your pharmacist, all of that stuff is moving forwards. There’s some challenges with that. But it’s it’s a lot better than it was nine months ago.
Simone Douglas 18:11
Absolutely. And you know, like, I think, God, it sounds sounds ridiculous to me now. But you know, being a single parent, two young kids, running three businesses, and trying to get to the GP to get a script for a contraceptive pill, because I’ve not paid attention to all the things that I needed to do and effectively run out. And I really needed to feel it within two days. And I ended up like I had to call a local man at like nine o’clock at night and go, I’m really sorry. I know, there were actually sick people that you should be saying, but I don’t have any other way to sort this out. So if you can come and issue me a script and might take my blood pressure, that would be great.
Nick Tellis 18:48
It’s a it’s a big issue. I’m not a super big fan of the dollar comm service for various reasons. However, they feel a need. And it might not be so much a medical need, but an organizational need. Yeah. And the scenario you’ve outlined is just one of those. I think one of the things that will change is why did we ever think it was a good idea to trip you across town to wait in a enclosed area with other people with cough, sniffles and other affective diseases, and park you there for 30 minutes plus, to have an interaction, which large parts of it could have been done without that physical content? Face to face is fantastic. It provides you with a lot of bandwidth that you don’t get over zoom, I find zoom tends to rectify things cuts out the even the ups and the downs of vocal modulation. Yeah, but yeah, it’s we will improve that. At the end of this we will have a better service offering a better product than we did at the start.
Simone Douglas 19:56
Absolutely. Well, I think that’s a really good spot to end. Nick. Thanks very much. Joining me and yeah, hopefully I get to talk to you again sometime on the show.
Nick Tellis 20:04
Absolute pleasure. Thank you.
Chris Irving 20:08
We hope you enjoyed this episode of seriously social. Check our website for the latest news show notes and for details about Simone’s latest book, confident networker.