Better Together, With Professor Mohamed Khadra


In this episode of the Better Together podcast, hosts Matt and Dom speak with eminent surgeon and urologist Professor Mohamed Khadra about trust, compassion and the value of lived experience in the design and delivery of our health services.

Professor Mohamed Khadra: Better Together Podcast

The experienced surgeon and celebrated author and playwright joins Matt and Dom in the studio for this episode of Better Together.

“Needing the patient to actually partner with their doctor is vital,” says Professor Mohamed Khadra, who emphasises the value of mutual trust between doctor and patient in a recent conversation for the Better Together podcast.

Mohamed Khadra is Professor of Surgery at the University of Sydney, Director of Surgery and Director of Strategy and Innovation at Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD), and a celebrated author and playwright.

“Patients need to be an integral part of health care planning, because this system is about them. We need to take their voice and strengthen it.”

Professor Mohamed Khadra AO

In a wide-ranging discussion, Mohamed Khadra also reflects on how surgeons need to balance technical objectivity with compassion and emotion.

“Compassion is a natural characteristic of all of us, but how we express it can be different depending on the person or the context,” says the Professor of Surgery.

“To be an effective surgeon, your job is to apply the highest level of technical expertise you have. But moments later when the patient is waking up, you have to be a human being again.”

Podcast host Matt Roger, who co-chairs the NBMLHD’s Disability Consumer Council, draws on his own experience as a health consumer representative and person living with the challenges of multiple sclerosis to reflect on the ways health services value the experiences of patients.

Genuinely partnering with patients and consumers is “not just a tick-a-box exercise,” says Matt Roger.

“There’s a real interest in the value of lived-experience, and you can’t learn that from a textbook.”

Professor Khadra also recalls how his own experience as a cancer patient helped him to understand aspects of the patient journey.

“Nothing is more educational than when the doctor becomes the patient,” says Mohamed Khadra.

Listen to the whole episode in the video above, on the Better Together podcast website, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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