I’m a Paediatrician and this is what I’ve learned from interviewing “heroic” parents this past year: DR GOLLY


Heroic parents and benchmark moments from Em Rusciano, Michael Brunelli and Reggie Bird – on DR GOLLY looks back at the major moments from DR GOLLY AND THE EXPERTS

(great holiday listening)

Dr Golshevsky (Dr Golly) is a leading paediatrician, a father of three and the former Chief Resident Medical Officer at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. He’s treated many high-profile Australian families as they deal with all sorts of major medical conditions, and he has a rare talent as an expert, and as an expert translator. But this year his learning curve steepened as he heard stories from parents, in his new podcast, DR GOLLY AND THE EXPERTS.

He spoke with 35 ‘experts’ patients and parents who have, through necessity, become a specialist in their specific health journey, from diagnosis to day-to-day treatment and beyond – they included sports broadcaster Hamish McLachlan about West Syndrome, Em Rusciano about the way kids on the spectrum are treated, former AFL players Jordan Lewis and Jarryd Roughead on cancer and concussions, Sophie Harrington an Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), Moana Hope & Isabella Carlstrom on traumatic birth, PND and bronchiolitis, Rachael Finch on the dangers of social media, Tiffany Hall on Plagiocephaly, Jonathon and Kylie Brown on sleep apnoea and Yumi Stynes and Dr Melissa Kang on puberty, and more. He even shared his own experience with his daughter Olympia being born with Craniosynostosis; so there’s no mistaking that Dr Daniel Golshevsky’s LiSTNR original podcast, Dr Golly and the Experts is making a difference for listeners, and interviewees alike. In talking to patients and parents, Dr Golly shares their challenges confronting a diagnosis, managing their own struggles, and finding solutions and treatment for their children, and themselves.

LISTEN HERE: Dr Golly and the Experts – LiSTNR Podcasts

He penned this insightful piece about his year of listening and learning…

I’m a paediatrician and this is what I’ve learned from interviewing parents this past year.

By Dr Daniel Golshevsky

As we press pause on podcast recordings for the end-of-year break I sit and count my lucky stars for the opportunity to connect with some, at times heroic, parents as they reflected on their most challenging days of parenthood. All too often as a paediatrician I see my patients and their families on their worst days, when they are right at the beginning, pre-diagnosis or in the thick of treatment and emotions are high. It’s one thing to study and practice medicine for decades and be able to talk about different conditions when it comes to both children’s and adult health and development, but it’s another thing entirely to live through the experience as a patient and most often, a parent. It’s rare that I get the opportunity to hear the whole story – how they and their families clawed through the other side to find a solution or embrace a new normal.

It clarified a few things for me:

  • Adversity doesn’t discriminate. I was lucky enough to speak with some incredible individuals at the top of their professional, athletic and financial games and yet no one is safe from random health challenges. Being a parent is life’s greatest joy, but to appreciate the highs, statistically there are lows and some lows are deep, cavernous.
  • Parenthood is the ultimate leveller. It’s the most humbling experience in life. You have no choice but to check your ego at the door. Every parent starts from scratch, every time. It doesn’t even matter if you have had children prior, every child is different and their needs will be as unique as they are.
  • Never close your mind to the prospect of learning. Whilst I’m sure the parents I interviewed never saw themselves becoming ‘experts’ in their child’s specialised health challenge, most have used the opportunity to grow from the experience. Opening their hearts and minds to the untraditional, unlocking a level of care that pays them back tenfold when they look into their children’s eyes or remember the times they got to spend together as a family.
  • There is no better parent for your child than YOU. My guests are from vast and varied backgrounds, all with children facing a different health battle but with one very important thing in common, unconditional love. They all turned their worlds upside down to accommodate the needs of their children. You are your child’s best advocate, teacher and protector.
  • We can learn a lot from children. Their resilience is palpable. It’s contagious. I can see it in their parents’ eyes. They fight because their children fight alongside them. Even when battles are lost, it’s the ability to find joy in small moments that children, above all, can pluck, seemingly from thin air. Hold your families tight and enjoy the beautiful moments as they come. I will be replaying a few of my favourite episodes of Dr Golly and the Experts over the summer; listen, share and subscribe on the LISTNR app or wherever you get your pods. Thanks for the support.
  • This year’s major insights and inspiration:
  • Em Rusciano’s call to stop trying to “fix” autistic children
  • Michael Brunelli realising he actually has PND whilst in an interview with me!
  • Reggie Bird’s incredible resilience while caring for her son Lucas with cystic fibrosis at the same time as she is going blind

Guests this year:

  • Hamish Mclaughlin, West Syndrome
  • Sophie Pearce & Jayde Couldwell, PND & hyperemesis gravidarum
  • Moana Hope & Isabella Carlstrom, traumatic birth, PND, bronchiolitis
  • Rachael Finch, the dangers of social media
  • Steph Claire-Smith & Josh Miller, having a stay-at-home dad
  • Jacqueline Alwill, hip dysplasia
  • Jarryd Roughead & Jordan Lewis, elite sports and sleep
  • Erin Molan, croup
  • Em Rusciano, autism and ADHD
  • Melissa Ambrosini, step parenting
  • Ilit Golshevsky, craniosynostosis
  • Norman Swan, traumatic brain injury
  • Christie Hayes, autism
  • Keren Ludski, SIDS
  • Tiff Hall, Plagiocephaly
  • Priyanka Saha, Miller Dieker syndrome
  • Jonathon and Kylie Brown, Sleep apnoea/Snoring
  • Mandy Maysey, Tourette Syndrome
  • Johanna Scully and Georgia Barnes, surrogacy
  • Yumi Stynes and Dr Melissa Kang, puberty
  • Samantha Dennaoui, Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (Blood cancer)
  • Michael Brunelli & Martha Kalifatidis, PND in men
  • Youssef Dib, Cerebral Palsy
  • Reggie Bird, Cystic Fibrosis
  • Bel & Rory Sloane, still birth
  • Yolanda Shennan, Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Katherine Peereboom, Level 3 autism
  • Lisa Chimes, birth complications
  • Skye and Kieran Burke, VACTERL
  • Alexis Bree, Eczema & anaphylaxis
  • Sarah Warden, Sanfilippo Syndrome
  • Sophie Harrington, Feotal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
  • Julie Mathers, Down Syndrome
  • Denton Pugh, childhood stroke


/Public Release.