Blood cancers

5 minutes with … Professor Judith Trotman

Wednesday, 31 Mar 2021

What trials or new developments are you keeping an eye on and why?
Bi-specifics and CAR-T cell developments in lymphoma. As far as I can see they are running neck to neck, and on ClinTrial Refer I can see that Australia is getting so many of these studies – a tribute to all our hard work in keeping COVID out!.

Can you share any tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance?
No. But I love my imbalance. I guess it’s making the work choices where you can to do what you love doing, and then it’s less “work”. Learning to say no is a challenge. I love this algorithm (source unknown).

What are you reading right now?

  • Too many manuscripts. I’m over PET!
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear – piecemeal. It’s about the compound effect of minor efficiencies and daily habits.
  • Little Drummer Girl by John Le Carre – a gift from my son who reads classics and is critical of all my escapist crime.
  • Then Slow Horses by Mick Herron is waiting to be opened once I’ve completed the manuscripts.
  • Sydney’s Best Harbour and Coastal Walks will get taken out again over Easter. I need exercise to counterpoint the computer back.
  • Once once all manuscripts and talks/PowerPoints are completed I will binge on the final series of Engrenages (Spiral ) – a French crime drama.

What have you learned from your patients?

  • Gratitude.
  • And I need to keep learning to listen well, a constant challenge with the time pressures.
  • To always have a Plan B, C, D … which may include palliation.
  • In lymphoma (esp. indolent) I’ve learned it’s much more than PFS. PROs are so important and that has motivated us at Concord to conduct the global WhiMSICAL study with WMozzies and the International Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia’s Foundation (IWMF) and create the My Hodgkin My Health app for long term follow-up.

How has your approach to practicing medicine changed over your career?

Ouch. Not sure about that one. I still like to think I pair optimism with pragmatism. Certainly in my 20 years of practice I have had much more reason to be optimistic. I’ve learnt done is better than perfect. It’s the only way to keep pace and avoid burnout.

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