Clinical School newsletter

2012 - Issue 2

CHW Clinical School news

Clinical teacher profile: Yoon Hi Cho

Yoon Hi

Dr Yoon Hi Cho says teaching and learning are part of clinical practice at a teaching hospital. As a medical bedside teacher, she has been impressed by the way medical students approach Paediatrics and how they synthesise information as they learn. Above all, she enjoys the formal opportunity to engage with students.
Involving families in teaching is important for Yoon Hi, as she finds it empowers families and enhances teaching. When she recently took students to see an adolescent patient with diabetes, she asked the patient how he wanted to teach the students. He said: “Never believe what an adolescent says!”
Yoon Hi has been teaching medical students on bedside tutorials for five years and examining clinical skills for four.
Despite competing demands of clinical work and research, she says it is a privilege to be involved in teaching at a university-affiliated hospital. She approaches teaching with the idea that her students are soon-to-be colleagues, some of whom will return as registrars.
Yoon Hi is currently working as a locum in Paediatric Endocrinology at CHW while doing a PhD in adolescent diabetes.

Kids' Bladder Day 2012

The inaugural “Kids’ Bladder Day” conference, organised by Dr Patrina Caldwell and her continence team and supported by the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, Centre for Kidney Research and the Kids’ Research Institute, was held at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead on Friday, 30 March 2012. Health professionals who treat children with urinary incontinence attended this education day free of charge, thanks to an education grant from Ferring Pharmaceuticals.

Sessions focused on bedwetting, daytime wetting and neurogenic bladder dysfunction, with hands-on workshops and discussion groups. One hundred and sixty delegates (doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and others) attended. Feedback about the day was very positive and donations for continence research totalling more than $5500 were made by delegates. DVDs of the talks are available from

Research news

Elizabeth Elliott: profile published in The Lancet

A profile of Elizabeth Elliot was published in May in The Lancet.
The profile documents Liz’s career in medicine, beginning at Blacktown Hospital, before heading to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children in London, St Bartholomew's and Leicester. On returning to Australia, Liz became Lecturer and Warden of the University of Sydney's Paediatric Clinical School. She set up the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU), followed by the International Network of Paediatric Surveillance Units. An Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit study of FASD led to Liz’s work on The Lililwan Project.

Liz Elliott

Liz is also part of a team of doctors and nurses from the University’s Hoc Mai Foundation that travels regularly to Vietnam to help improve child health outcomes in the Dien Bien province. (See article in a previous newsletter).
The same issue of The Lancet features Liz’s work in rare diseases in Australia. Australia has some of the best health indicators of any high-income country but is trailing in treating rare diseases. While individual rare diseases have a low prevalence, there are thousands of them. They have been estimated to affect approximately 6–10% of Australians, including about 400 000 children. Liz explained that much of the medical research funding has focussed on common conditions, such as asthma, yet rare diseases have a wide impact, affecting not only individuals, but also families and carers, health professionals and the health system, and the community. The APSU, funded by the Federal Government and the NHMRC, provides vital data on rare diseases in children.

A paper on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) was also published in May in The Lancet. The paper features the film Tristan, which highlights the issue of FASD. The film was developed as part of the Lililwan Project and documents the plight of a 12-year-old Indigenous Australian boy who has a severe form of FASD.

Student news

Medical student profile: Arridh Shashank


Arridh Shashank is a final year medical student who completed the Child and Adolescent Health Specialty Block in May 2012. Prior to undertaking a medical degree, Arridh concurrently completed a Degree in Electrical Engineering and Masters in Biomedical Engineering, during which he developed an interest in anatomy and surgery. He is the current president of the Sydney University Surgical Society.
After commencing the medical program, Arridh developed a number of devices for surgical training, which are in the process of being granted patent protection. He was awarded the title of Prosector in 2009 and the John Irvine Hunter and Wolfe Solomon Brown prizes in 2010 for his work in anatomy. Last year Arridh received the AM Taylor Scholarship and spent over three months in New York and Scotland undertaking placements in Surgery. In August he will be one of 12 medical students to attend the Business Engineering and Surgical Technologies program at the Research Institute Against Digestive Cancer (IRCAD) in Strasbourg, France, focusing on minimally invasive surgery.
Earlier this month Arridh was selected by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) committee to attend the Developing a Career in Academic Surgery (DCAS) program at the 81st Annual Scientific Congress (ASC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Arridh said, "It was great to see the increasing level of medical student participation at the ASC, which was mainly due to Westmead General Surgeon Mr. Richard Hanney's dedication to fostering student involvement. I am also very thankful for the support from Central Clinical School and the Division of Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, which made my attendance possible." After completing the Sydney Medical Program, Arridh hopes to undertake specialist training in surgery and maintain his involvement in research and academia.

Postgraduate student profile: Gulam Khandaker


Gulam Khandaker is a clinician researcher with a special interest in paediatric infectious diseases. Currently he is working as a paediatric registrar at the Children's Hospital at Westmead. He has concurrently undertaken a PhD on the epidemiology of pandemic influenza in children under the supervision of Prof. Robert Booy from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS).
The aim of Gulam’s doctoral research was to describe the epidemiology, clinical features, management and control of pandemic influenza at the extremes of age, particularly in children. Key findings from his research were demonstration of the major impact of pandemic influenza A(H1N1)09 on child health services in Australia, world first reports on the clinical and epidemiological features of pandemic influenza, new understanding of the complications of pandemic influenza (most importantly, neurological complications), the safety and tolerability of the anti-influenza drug oseltamivir in young infants, the immunogenicity and safety of the pandemic influenza vaccine in young children during the pandemic, and the cross protective effect of pre-existing influenza-A antibody against pandemic influenza in the elderly.
Gulam's doctoral work has generated 18 peer reviewed publications in journals, including The Lancet, Neurology, Archives of Disease in Childhood, Emerging infectious Diseases and Antiviral Therapy. Gulam has also given 11 presentations at national and international scientific conferences. He has received three awards in recognition of his research achievements and over $250,000 in peer reviewed research funds as chief and associate investigator.


graduation panorama

Congratulations to Vanessa Shrewsbury and Simran Kaur on receiving their higher research degrees at the Graduation Ceremony on 11 May.

   Simran Kaur, MPhil, with supervisors John Christodoulou and Wendy Gold

Vanessa Shrewsbury

Vanessa Shrewsbury, PhD (primary supervisor - Louise Baur), with associate supervisor, Siranda Torvaldsen

Grants, Achievements, Promotions and Titles

Achievements & Awards

Congratulations to Maria Chow, PhD student from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS), who has been awarded a Sydney Medical School Travelling Fellowship of $5,000. The Sydney Medical School Travelling Fellowships are awarded for advanced
training or research away from the University of Sydney. The Fellowship will assist Maria to meet travel and accommodation expenses for her visit to the World Health Organization, Immunisation Policy Unit of the Department of Immunisation, Vaccines and Biologicals.

Congratulations to Patrina Caldwell on winning the PRSANZ Research Award for her presentation titled ‘The NEAT (Nocturnal Enuresis Alarm Therapy) Study: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Novel Alarm that Enhances Waking’

Congratulations to Andrew Holland, who has been elected as Chair of the Pacific Association of Pediatric Surgeons (‘PAPS’) publication committee and Guest Editor of the Journal of Pediatric Surgery.

Promotions appointments & titles

New titles
Dr Yoon Hi Cho – Clinical Lecturer (Endocrinology)
Dr Irene Chuah – Clinical Associate Lecturer
Dr Lara Ford – Clinical Associate Lecturer
Dr Dimitrii Minchenko – Honorary Associate


Yvonne Zurynski and Elizabeth Elliott – DoHA Chronic Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Fund (ITA 112/1112): Improving prevention and outcomes for chronic disease in children: the Australian Paediatric surveillance Unit
4 studies
1. Obesity Hypoventilation syndrome: audit of sleep study records and prospective surveillance study through APSU
2. Children’s Interstitial Lung Disease: medical records audit and prospective surveillance APSU
3. Non-CF Bronchiectasis – medical records audit plus limited surveillance – Fitzroy Valley and NSW
4. National Audit of models of transition for children with rare chronic conditions
Approx. $290K per annum


Upcoming conferences and meetings

Paediatric Obesity Update: Sydney 15/06/2012
This half day update to be held on Friday, 15 June 2012. Topics covered include associations between sleep and obesity, using stimulus control to assist in weight loss, dietary interventions for both childhood and adolescent obesity and how to maximise local resources in management of cases. Enquiries: or

Australian Paediatric Society's 6th Annual Diabetes Workshop: Tweed Coast - 20-21/07/2012
This workshop titled Aiming to Improve Diabetes Control will be held on Friday 20 & Saturday 21 July 2012 at Mantra on Salt Beach Kingscliff, Tweed Coast. For more information, please visit

The Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA) 36th Annual Scientific Meeting: Canberra - 22-25/07/2012. For further information, please .

26th International Conference of the European Society for Philosophy of Medicine and Healthcare (ESPMH): Nazareth, Israel - 15-18/08/2012
Abstracts should be submitted before 1 March 2012. For more information, contact , Secretary of ESPMH

14th Asia Pacific Congress of Pediatrics: Malaysia - 8-12/09/2012
Further information, please visit the website

Paediatric Society of QLD Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting: Brisbane - 12-13/10/2012
Brisbane Powerhouse. Further information can be accessed here

The Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS) Annual Meeting: Auckland - 18-20/10/2012 Themed “For Our Children’s Children” More information

6th Asian Congress of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (ACPID): Sri Lanka - 24-27/10/2012 More information

The Annual Children's Hospital at Westmead Paediatric Update: Sydney - 15-16/11/2012
Enquires: or