Some gentle questions to start off with, what’s your favourite book? Or favourite author?
My favourite author is Nick Hornby. He writes about difficult topics with great levity, heart and great insight into the human condition. There is also that dry British humour that I really enjoy.
What’s your favourite film or series?
The Dark Knight – there is still a kid inside of me who loves seeing a hero!
My wife and I have just finished The Handmaid’s tale. It has been a tough watch being parents, but we have really enjoyed it. We can’t wait for the next season!
Who’s your favourite on screen doctor? Or if you have none, who is your most disliked onscreen doctor? Why?
I have yet to watch a film or television series that even remotely resembles what it is actually like being a doctor. If someone is keen on a great medical show though, I can highly recommend ‘Scrubs’.
Medically, you’re experienced and you’re clearly passionate, this is a bit of a tough question but could you summarise your general philosophy toward medicine and the practitioner/patient relationship?
The doctor and patient relationship, something that is often overlooked, is such an important determinant of health and well being. I argue that it is the most important determinant because it underpins everything that I do in medicine. Traditionally, the doctor was the all knowing and “do as I say” authority on health. There has been a shift in this dynamic for the better, where decisions are made together. I am here to help patients achieve their goals. The need for respect, dignity and understanding is fundamental to this process. The doctor patient relationship is something I actively work on as a GP just like I do with keeping up to date with my medical knowledge and procedural skills.
When you aren’t working at the Neighbourhood Clinic, you work at another practice, what do you do there?
I work at a Trans and Gender Diverse clinic in Preston. I treated a small number of patients from the Trans and Gender Diverse community as a junior doctor and saw the difficulties faced by this community. Some of the journeys I saw patients go on were very inspiring and in fact inspired me to be a GP to work with this community.
I am also a teaching associate and examiner at Monash University, where I teach medical students going through their general practice rotation. Teaching does give you a different perspective on your own practice as I often get questions from students that I do not expect. The students are Monash are a really engaged group!
As a General Practitioner what areas are you especially passionate about?
As obvious as it seems, good health and well being! Good health does just not mean the absence of health. I also recognise that good health and well being has different meanings for different individuals. Getting to know a patient really well is best part about being a GP and it is the part that I am most passionate about!
Dr Thong Le is a GP at The Neighbourhood Clinic. Book an appointment with him clicking here.