#42 The Hidden Conflicts & Medicine with Dr Amy Neilson.
"If you do not let pain transform you, you will transmit it"
Amy is one superstar medical practitioner! I wish I could share her resume but it involves extensive training, placements in some of the world's most challenging environments and a focus on education in the medical sector where resources are exceptionally limited. As she describes herself in her own writing, 'I am a wandering soul'.
Amy is an Australian-trained medical practitioner, specialising in the delivery of health to complex populations in austere and resource-limited settings. She is particularly interested and driven in the optimal delivery of health care to complex populations in great need, and in the ethics of the delivery of this care. Her particular focus is on conflict regions, and on the underlying structural violence inflicted upon vulnerable populations.
Amy has worked in regional Australia and also with asylum seekers, but she spent the last four years working overseas with the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières in places like Lebanon, South Sudan, Syria and Iraq. Her first placement overseas involved working in an Ebola outbreak. In this podcast episode Amy explains how she deals with the complex emotional situations of not only what she goes in to face and to see as a medical practitioner, but also how she reconciles what she's seen when she returns home.
At the end of the podcast Amy & I discuss how to keep your chin up and maintain your health and well-being when you have very limited resources available to you for your exercise and personal release time.
We acknowledge conflict zones as problematic, but we don't accept the outcome of those conflict zones
South Sudan being one of the hardest countries to work in
Discussing how pain transforms you
Grief, trauma and pain is what we grow stronger from
Asylum seekers in Australia
The learning curve from the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone
Exercising in a confined space and with confined energy & time
I hope you enjoy this episode! I know that what I am taking away from it is that everyone... anyone... has a right to optimal health, wellbeing and security. There are so many hidden conflicts around the world and those individuals like Amy are the champions of helping these communities in need. However, as Amy is finding out, if we are to help others, we must always show the same love, kindness and compassion to ourselves. We need to allow ourselves to feel sadness and pain, to acknowledge it and allow it to transform us into something even stronger and more beautiful. For if we do not, we run the risk of transmitting this on others. And as Amy and I discuss in the end of this podcast, it is also incredibly important for us to take valuable moments to continue to exercise, play and move, even when we believe we do not have the emotional or mental energy. For I believe that movement is a form of meditation and that meditation is a form of compassion.
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. That is why I am now beginning to tell my story."