Don’t just sign on the dotted line: assessing fitness to drive

Assessing Fitness to Drive teaching session Sydney June 2017

Since my partner died in July 2015, I’ve been trying to find things that are positive and helpful to make a very horrible situation feel a little less senseless. One of these is raising awareness of the dangers of unfit drivers on the road.

The RACGP 15 conference was on in Melbourne in September and as part of the focus on social media, members of the Facebook group, GPs Down Under, were encouraged to prepare a Pecha Kucha talk on a topic about which we felt passionate.  A Pecha Kucha is a 6min 40sec talk comprising of 20 slides, each lasting 20 seconds.

put together a talk to try to raise awareness of the importance of the doctor’s role in assessing our patients’ fitness to drive. I also talk about the valuable “virtual” support that can come from online communities.

While it was not easy to do (had to do a few practice runs before I could do it without bursting into tears), I hope that by sharing my personal story in this way, it will help
encourage other doctors to be more mindful.  This might just result, indirectly at least, in someone’s husband, wife or child being spared. Of course, I have no way of knowing if it will, but the thought of this being a possibility gives me comfort.

If you have a spare 400 secs, I would really appreciate you watching the talk, and sharing it with your friends and colleagues if you feel this is appropriate, to help me spread this important (to me at least) message.

For further information, the September 2015 edition of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine Clinical Communique is devoted to Fitness to Drive. It goes through 3 Coronial cases and is an interesting and informative read.

And Avant published a great article with a cautionary tale in August 2015

My video was featured on the KevinMD blog

On doctorportal:

On Meducation:

And on the official Pecha Kucha website:

I was a guest on the GP Show speaking about Assessing Fitness to Drive in March 2018, on which I shared practical tips for GPs on how to approach driving fitness



10 thoughts on “Don’t just sign on the dotted line: assessing fitness to drive

  1. Reblogged this on drjustincoleman and commented:
    My friend and colleague Genevieve Yates tells her tragic story of losing her partner to an elderly car driver earlier this year. She reminds us that driving is a privilege, not a right, and that doctors who sign ‘fitness to drive’ paperwork have a responsibility which extends beyond the person sitting in front of them.

  2. Genevieve you have truly done justice to a topic that is so incredibly challenging and frustrating for all of us. The stark and harsh reality of consequences of our actions has been portrayed in such an honest and real manner. Reminding us that driving is a privilege hits the spot so well.
    Well done on raising awareness. But so sad, that you had to experience such loss.

  3. Hi Dr. Genevieve!

    This is Brian from PechaKucha HQ in Tokyo Japan. We stumbled across your moving PK talk online and we’d be happy to share/feature it online if you want to get in touch with us about it. We would just need the slides, audio, and a short description!

    Thanks for the consideration and thanks for sharing this story! Happy to see the PechaKucha working for good causes and messages! 😉

  4. Thank you for sharing this Genevieve.. I’m not sure how you kept your voice together at all, so incredibly sad. This has definitely raise my awareness

  5. Pingback: Weathering the anniversary storm | Genevieve's anthology

  6. Pingback: “I’m more like herpes than Ebola” – spreading the message about driving fitness | Genevieve's anthology

  7. Pingback: General Practice – The GP Show

  8. Pingback: General Practice – Driving – The GP Show

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s