WHEN Anthony Radford retired as professor of general practice from Flinders University at the age of 56, he knew he had many good years ahead of him: so he decided to use his time as a locum for doctors in rural and remote SA.
For the next 20 years he spent several weeks a year relieving doctors in the country and at the same time experiencing the local area and getting to know the community.
One of the challenges of locum work is that Anthony didn’t know the background of the patients he was treating and so would make an effort to understand not only their medical history but their community, social and work life.
“For example, if there was a rural show or local football on when I was there, I would go along,” he said.
Anthony kept a diary of every trip he made, recording what he did and people he met, as well as the birds, wildlife, scenery, crops and nature trails he experienced. The diary became the groundwork for his book, Have Stethoscope, Will Travel.
“Many people stop just for petrol when travelling through the country but I had a week to explore the history and places of interest as a member of the community, even if only for a short time,” he said.
‘The book could almost be a guide book to South Australia exploring the west coast scenery, sea lion colonies,
the Gawler Ranges, national parks as well as small nature reserves.”
The book will appeal to those in the medical profession and anyone with an interest in rural SA, medical and moral dilemmas, history and nature.
It includes medical anecdotes and engaging stories of the communities and countryside he experienced as well as images of the country towns, people, fauna, flora and rural landscape he encountered.