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