Aging in the New Age: Your Survival Guide for Baby Boomers

Aging in the New Age: Your Survival Guide for Baby Boomers.

Dr. Drew shares his extraordinary and eventful life with host Wayne Bucklar, from experiencing a traumatic childhood to working as a clinical gerontologist. He provides new insights about his book, “Ageing in the New Age: A Survival Guide for Baby Boomers,” which serves as a guide for the ageing person to help them plan and understand their transition toward their final stages in life.

Bio: Dr. Drew Dwyer, known as “A Big Man Talking,” is a general registered nurse with a specialization in Gerontic Nursing, a counselor, and a Reiki Master. He has earned a doctorate degree in Evidence Based Healthcare and Clinical Leadership. He is also a fellow of the Australian College of Nursing and and a clinical fellow of the JBI.

Dr. Drew has dedicated 25 years in learning and development, teaching, and instructional design. His experience in the military provided him personal and professional growth. He returned from active service to continue his journey by means of speaking, reading, and writing. Caring for the Baby Boomers is his passion and he continues to do research to discover more ways of improving the lives of the ageing person.


Wayne Bucklar:  Dr. Drew, you were known as “Big Man Talking” and you work as a clinical gerontologist, you have a long career in nursing and in the military and you’ve written a book, “Aging in the New Age: Your Survival Guide for Baby Boomers.” And I think Drew if I’m right, you are a Baby Boomer.

Dr. Drew Dwyer:  I sit on the bottom scale of the youngest cohort. So Baby Boomers are born basically in an age bracket, they range between 52 and 72 years of age in today in 2018. I’m down at the 52 end.

Wayne:  Now down at the bottom end of the Baby Boomers, you’ve got a back story. Fill us in a little bit on that story, how did you get to where we are today?

Dr. Drew:  Well personally I believe I have quite an extraordinary life. I wouldn’t call it lucky, I just call it eventful. If I go back to my childhood, a lot of my life at a very young age was exposed to trauma, and broken family, domestic violence. And moving through then a large family of eight boys and two girls moving through that being the youngest of all the boys in the family, I experienced my own little trauma and domestic violence but also within in that larger cohort of family. I lost my father at a young age, through first, were marriage separation and had to experience taking a new father on, I’m sure many people understand that, a stepfather. And then watching my father die of cancer and then having that final separation. Visiting my father while I was at school and to go visit him and coming from quite a dysfunctional and violent family background, I was still very focused on my dad and he was in a nursing home in and out and then finally full-time and then dying. And I wasn’t very happy with the care he received, it wasn’t very happy to see how he lived his life and I was only a child, I was 12 or 13. I didn’t like what was happening and I found that light that turns on in people. I suppose “Nursing” is a calling and care work is a compassionate servant work but that calling came to me through my experience of abuse, and trauma and violence and then, seeing the abuse and the neglect, and my father and a whole extent of stuff that sat around that. It brought me towards care work and nursing.

So after his death, I had quite a troubled teenage life and ran away from home, and moved out of home and went through those journeys, I won’t go to in depth. But then finally through family intervention, an older brother joined the military. And back in those days particularly in Australia, one of the interventions that was very common was get him in the army. Jail or the army was your end result. I think it’s still very popular in the military or in life in America and judge gave me a choice, “Join the Marines or join the jail.” And I wasn’t in exactly that position but it was, “What are we going to do? Where am I going to go? How do I get out? Where am I going?” And it was during the military, so I joined the military I corps enlisted but at the time I was part-time nursing, I was working in a nursing home and a hospital in Sydney. Nursing then was done as a practice on the floor over a three-year certificate in a hospital. And I started that journey and was enjoying it but not enjoying it and still, I had no direction, no father advice, no elder male advice and quite a difficult relationship with my mother. So one day in the hospital where I was working part time, I call it “The Caravan of Courage.” It was an army recruitment caravan and part of its mission was to sign up nurses into the army. So I went along in my lunch hour and listened to the little talk and met the people and thought, “Right, this looks like fun. They’re gonna pay me twice as much as I’m getting paid and I don’t have to put up with any nuns.” Because back then the Catholic system, I worked in the hospital system was very Catholic nun-orientated, lovely nuns but very nun, very Catholic. So I signed up and reported to the hospital after lunch and said, “I won’t be back on Monday, I’m joining the army.” So off I went and I joined the army and had to go through the whole process. Now for me, the military saved my life. It gave me and presented to me self-discipline, leadership, integrity and a lot of principles and morals that I still have very strong and very value today. They taught me a lot of work in medical and nursing, they qualified me as a nurse, registered me as a nurse at the nursing registration in Australia and allowed me to live my life in the military as a medic, and a nurse and working in very diverse situations in infantry battalions as a male on the frontline in jungles. I went on active service, I went to a number of different peacekeeping missions and tsunami relief efforts and things like that and experiencing life as a soldier and a nurse in these environments where you use your skill to save and help others. So for me, I was very much in my home, I was in my tribe. Everything I did had purpose, I had a function to my life. But very interestingly, the training I took through what they call “Kapooka” basic army training is 13 weeks long. I actually stayed in that training for one year. Now the reason why is because when you get to week 13 and they want you to graduate and go into the army, you’ve had to have completed all of the tests. And there was one test I couldn’t complete and that was doing chin-ups. So for the listeners who don’t realize or understand, you have to be able to pull yourself on a bar up to a chin-up and you have to do it seven times. Well when you’re 7 ft 2 and your arm reach is probably four and a half feet, I would have to have been built like the “Hulk” to have the muscle strength to pull past the fulcrum, the ergonomics to pull myself up to that bar. So of course, I couldn’t do that. So what the military rule was they sent you back to the week of training where they believed your fitness was at its standard. I couldn’t pass the first three week test, so back I went again to week 3 and went all the way back to the week 13, I didn’t pass the final test so they did it to me again and again. So they end up doing quite a bit of medical damage to my muscles but I must say I was a fit, lean, strong, very equipped, and very talented and competent soldier. I could outshoot, out walk, out navigate, out skill, out drill, I got out anybody, any instructor, anyone but I couldn’t do a chin-up. Finally one of the senior medical and senior military people on the base saw me walking past them one day, called me over my nickname back then was “Stretch.” My wife used to say I was all dick and ribs. And they called me over and said, “What the hell are you still doing here? I explained the position and they said, “This is no good.” So they basically had an out and that was to give me a medical waiver but it said, I never had to do another chin up in my life. And I was over the moon so the following couple of weeks, I marched out, marched into medical school, marched into nursing school and off I went at the school of army health and begun my life.

So over a long period of time, service deployments, using my skill. I did aviation, physiology in and out of Blackhawks, aviation medicine is quite different because we’re operating at altitude. I did underwater diving medicine. So the military gave me a great opportunity to learn a lot of skill much more skill than normal nurses would never learn in their careers. And so I end up doing active service with the United Nations on two tours in Cambodia which require confrontational and quite traumatic but you do your job and you experience what it is to be in these combat zones and these war zones and particularly for my role, helping the oppressed and the people in refugee camps. Of course Cambodia was 90% land mined over 50 years of many wars but I experienced a whole heap of stuff there. And when I came back to Australia from that, I wanted to change my career. My girlfriend at the time, my now wife, my wife and I met at the health school. She was a dental assistant hygienist and I was doing my medical nursing stuff. And then of course, our careers made us separate, get back together, separate, it’s the life of military people particularly people in military who are in a relationship, you often separate by posting or distance and spend your time trying to reconnect constantly. But you get used to it because this is the military norm, it’s the culture and the lifestyle.

When I came back, I made a decision that I wanted to remove myself from the military and take up a normal nursing job and go back to nursing and of course begin my career or restart my career. And so in doing that, I found the challenge of coming back to a normal nursing space in Australia – it was extremely different to nursing in the military. One thing in particular was the standards of practice, the scope of practice, the ability to work with others and intermingle. And specifically for me, discipline and leadership were huge issues. Now I was challenged frequently in this transition to go back to nursing and on that journey of going back to uni again, and studying, and I had a young family to raise and I had a whole lot of other issues as normal people do. I discovered on this journey that I actually didn’t want to remain in nursing because of the experiences I had with bullying and harassment from women who were nurses and of course nurses eat their young and it’s well known in the literature. But I was one of these people because of myself, so I’ll step in and out of a few things Wayne. When I went through that recruitment process in the military, I made a commitment to myself, I would go back to the Kapooka space. But after a few years in the army, I would build myself with enough skill that I could go back and be a drill sergeant, a drill instructor, one of the recruit instructors, the leaders of the new recruits. But I would also have a mission that I would stop the bullying and the bastardy that went on in that place – forcing push-ups, and punishment and all sorts of things that you see in the movies actually happened in the army. So I eventually got into that role, that leadership role, I got trained in that leadership role and I became a very senior recruiting instructor in Kapooka. I held a lot of my colleagues accountable when I saw them punishing soldiers, throwing things out windows, making them do push-ups and being quite nasty to their men. I used to confront these colleagues and full-on confront them and hold them accountable for their bullying, and their tactics and the way they dealt with their soldiers and I absolutely drove the discipline of it’s not leadership, it’s bastardy and it’s not the way to lead people. You don’t build good soldiers out of doing it, you can’t lead people in the battle for that. So now, I step back into nursing, again confronted with nurses who are bullies, and rude and ruining your career and standing over you and shutting doors on you and telling you, “You will do this or we’ll burn you and we’ll ruin your career.” I decided after some guidance by somebody, a mentor of mine to step out of it and take a different pathway. So I did another degree in psychology and I did a Bachelor of Applied Social Science in Psychology at the school of the Australian College of Applied Psychology and I particularly studied the culture of nursing through counseling and working with healthcare and a whole range of things where I got my degree out of that. At the same time, I still held my qualifications as a nurse and my general registrations on the nurses board. So I still worked part-time as a nurse and made my money, crap money that it was and still took these journeys. I often ask myself why we do these things and take these battles on? For me, it was a lot of reasons is perfection because I’m a Capricorn but really, what I understand now is at the time I didn’t realize it, but I was also suffering from PTSD. I undergone some surgery and some accidents in the military which was part of the reason I left. But I had not acknowledged or identified the fact that I was dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I had to deal with it. So learning the psychology aspect might have come to fruition to realize that myself, I had issues and needed counseling and had to find myself into recovery. My recovery space was having purpose which was my family, having purpose which was my nursing and my counseling, counseling and culture. But education and learning became a purpose, it gave mission and gave me a purpose to succeed and a purpose to find myself and to own something. Very similar to the purpose that the military gave me. The military gave me purpose from a very broken childhood. Finding the military space gave me purpose to commit again, getting out of the military. And this is very common today, many people killing themselves through PTSD that you see in the press. I believe many of these military people are transitioning and finding purpose outside the military. So that’s one of the issues that I like to talk about in my speaks.

But moving forward, I became a husband and a father and I have two beautiful children, I became passionate about what I was doing. And at the same time, I also picked up the ability,  I’ve always been a very spiritual person and the army quickly connected me to Thailand, and Cambodia, and Vietnam and Asian countries as a soldier in and out of these places. And of course, I learnt their language and studied it and then I became very fascinated with Buddhism, not as a religion but as a way of life. And so I started to connect them with spirituality and connection to spirit and self and combining this with psychology and the more you grow, the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know and there’s far much more to learn. Now I realize you can’t learn at all but you can master enough things in yourself to again give your purpose, concrete your emotional intelligence and let you have purpose and grounding in yourself, and know yourself and allow you to be able to intermingle with others. And for me, we intermingle that in a very diverse space so I connect very well right through these journeys with the poor, the oppressed, the refugees, people who’ve been vilified, people who are suffering. In my nursing job doing all this learning and education, I always worked in a nursing home. And I did it because one, it paid the bills and two I had a very strong connection with these people who are suffering in nursing homes and the demented elderly, and their families, and the pain and suffering of what I saw could be ameliorated and “ameliorated” is a nursing home to be made better, not save these people and not cure them but to at least be the person that applies care, and compassion and guidance to ameliorate or make better their quality of life to allow them to take their journey with a bit more love, and warmth and compassion. So I was very strongly connected with it, Reiki helped me do them and I used to practice a bit of Reiki on the spare weekend’s because a personal passion like playing golf. I don’t play sports. Sport sucks and I love watching it but I don’t play it and of course with my spinal injuries and back injuries from the military, I have quite a severe one from an accident. I can’t play much sport and at 7 ft 2 if I lose my mobility, I’m gone so I have to keep up, mobile. But Reiki was a nice connection. Now for those who don’t know, Reiki is the process of channeling an air energy through vibration and using your hands to pass it into another human being. On going to a master Reiki space, I learned how to do this in different ways where I’m actually putting hands on because if I found I focused my Reiki onto the person, they got very emotional very quickly, they got very angry, or they cried or they burst into tears and this used to concern me. The Reiki practitioners or masters used to teach me that I channel very strongly, I have a very strong channel. And of course to see me on stage or to meet me in person, I’m over 7 ft tall, I’m a big man, hence “Dr. Drew, A Big Man Talking” and I have a normal vibration or an energy that when I walk into a room, I draw immediate attention to myself. Now that in itself is something you have to learn to live with as a person and I’ve had it ever since birth. So my diversity has become a collective with other diverse people and diverse situations. So if I move forward on my life journey, the study of what I was doing, the working in counseling in aged care, in nursing homes with other nurses, with carers and perfecting other skills – you start to drive a bit more passion.

Now along this journey Wayne, I made a lot of enemies. I don’t really know if they’re enemies. I pissed a lot of people off. More than likely because I held very strong discipline, very strong integrity issues, very strong value principles taught to me by the military, taught to me through my service, taught to me from self experience or experience of life and I had no problems holding somebody accountable or calling someone out. Now of course, most people will understand that a lot of people don’t like that. In a modern world today, it’s more about political correctness and being more left-of-centre and I’m afraid that left-of-centre doesn’t gel well with me in most cases. And so what I learned was getting many smacks on the wrist was you can’t say the things you’re saying and you can’t do what you’re doing unless you can validate. So of course on that journey, it was being told, “You can’t do that, you don’t have a degree in this, and you don’t have a master’s degree at that. You don’t know that, you don’t have a peer.” And so off I went and then studied more, got another degree, got another master’s degree in clinical science so I could understand the evidence of science, how science is put together. And I went off to an institute called the Joanna Briggs Institute. So the Joanna Briggs Institute is an institute that is Australia’s leading, it’s the world leading institute of evidence-based practice. It’s global – a highly, highly academic institute run by the University of Adelaide. For me, being a clinical fellow of that institute and being trained by them is an esteemed pleasure. The people who created it, Professor Alan Pearson was the first professor of nursing in Australia and his cohort and band of people over the years, they’ve spent it, have managed to collaborate with the Cochrane Foundation which is the medical doctors evidence organisation. And of course, Alan created the JBI, the Joanna Briggs Institute. Joanna Briggs was the first matron of the Adelaide Hospital. And of course, I stepped into this space and the further they educated me through a fellowship and through a long process of learning over many years, the more I realized how little I was using and other people use evidence-based knowledge in practice and they use more opinion or more or less competency that they used to. I’ve been doing this for 20 years but yes, hello the science has changed and you should be practicing different. I became very involved in this. Of course, when you become involved with it and being a leader naturally, create materials and so forth. And so my wife caught on to this very quickly and of course, as nurses and medical people, we give our information away Wayne. You just give it away, I don’t say “No” if just someone says, “Can you do this for me?” Sure. “Can I have that?” Sure. And it was my wife who stepped in and said, “Stop, you get paid crap as a nurse.” I went, “Yes, that’s what nurses get crap, we get bankrupt.” She said, “Honey, we can’t live on crap anymore” and she’s quite an astute businesswoman and was the major breadwinner in our life. And she said, “I’m starting a consultancy firm and I’m actually going to own your brain” and anyone who wants your information as you create more, but they’re gonna be charged for it through me. So hence she created a little consultancy that I worked for her in or consulted to her in and she sells my information. And she more or less she said to me, “You should be getting paid to speak on stage and impart your information off in a speaking platform because you’re quite motivational and people are attracted to these thru your energies. So hence, “Dr. Drew, A Big Man Talking” became a reality for me. And out of that also, I started doing more work with the elderly, more work with Baby Boomers myself, more work with counseling of these people picking up more evidence and study. More work with the clinical leaders or the staff inside these organizations that work around elderly and transitioning them, and then retiring and then putting them through their processes. And so that led me and get to go further in my academic studies and end up doing a PhD at the School of Medicine at the Joanna Briggs Institute at Adelaide University in evidence-based healthcare and clinical leadership. So of course, clinical leadership is a large component of heuristic knowledge around or what we know around leadership in a clinical space. Making decisions, communicating with people, managing conflict, they’re soft skills, they’re not necessarily clinical skills. And so I ended up being a doctor in that space, having a doctorate in there and then again of course creating materials, writing materials, doing more research and building a better platform to communicate through speaking and holding conferences or speaking at conferences and imparting my knowledge onto more people. So my career is quite extraordinary and being a nurse, being a qualified counsellor and being educated, and having research, and academic skills and being a PhD level of learning, I know people say, “Oh it’s just piece of paper” and I often correct them and say, “No, that’s wrong it’s a parchment and unless you’ve got one of your own, please don’t wipe your ass with mine.” However, these days of course people get their medical degrees through Google and they all have their own opinions. Now I get that and that’s okay, the human element of making our own decisions. But also, I had the skill my life as a soldier, my position and the things I hold my passion and gentle to Reiki, spirituality, not necessarily religion, so I was raised a Catholic and I don’t particularly like being in that space. But when you combine all the diversities and throw them into a 7 ft 2 man, you end up with a quite opinionated, big man talking. And so hence of course came out, “Dr. Drew” which is I’m commonly known at. A lot of people call me Dr. Drew since I got my doctorate because I am a doctor and we do like the title because it’s a long journey Wayne, it’s hard to get there. Other people who haven’t been there might like to chip it but until you’ve been on that very critical journey and had people criticizing, and critique you and hold you accountable for what you’re doing and to examine you, that’s a hard process, it can bring you to tears I can assure you more so than going to war because it’s quite reflective and very personal. But on that journey too, I’ve also been made a clinical fellow of the Joanna Briggs Institute. I’ve been made a fellow of the Australian College of Nursing which I’m extremely proud of because you have to get nominated into that position. So as quite a junior registered nurse because I haven’t spent a long career, past career now in clinical nursing on the floor, I still work on the floor but I don’t know per se if that makes sense. But to be an esteemed fellow of the college, an admired fellow of the college, a leader of the college of the whole fraternity of Australian Nurses, that’s quite a proud thing to stand in and again I value that and I respect that. And unfortunately, I do get a bit verbal about it when I see political things or I’m asked to make comment. Again, these are tickets I suppose, little badges to wear, feathers in the cap and I’m often asked by people, “Why so many? Why do you have to keep achieving? Who are you proving things to, yourself?” Some people can get quite insulting about it and of course I’ve examined this in myself a lot for my own personal growth and development. And I generally bring it back to my childhood again and the journey that I’ve taken and that is when I was young and my life was so tumultuous and I experienced so much trauma, I lost myself at some point as a person that I disconnected from my human self. All this probably to save myself and then spent the rest of my life reconnecting with myself if that makes sense. So I’ve been one of these people that take this journey to find self. I don’t know today whether we’ve truly find ourselves and I humble at those that are at peace and have found them their true self and how humble they become with it. But I’m an energy person and I often believe that we are all given a role in life and I don’t believe mine is far from finished, it’s far from finished. Do I do it and have I done it to get the letters after my name? I never used to put any letters out to my name because I didn’t think any person give a rat’s ass about it. But frankly, when you’re dealing with other people and you’re in a position of respect, and power and making decisions, those letters help because other clinicians and other people you’re working with actually look at that and go, “Hang on a moment, he’s a person with experience, or with qualification and with credibility speaking and maybe we could learn something.” But then again, you learn people, “I don’t care how many letters you’ve got to your name, you’re a wanker.” So of course, you are either going to fit on either side of the fence and really I do find most of my passion these days in trying to present keynotes and motivate. I’m an extremely motivational person, I like to see motivation in people. But I’m one of the rare people I think that does it in a real space. I try and motivate people at the front end of care, at the front end of the hard end of life because these people experience are very hard end of life. So you can motivate them with love and light and all the MEMS and under the sun but these people actually look through that and realize most of what you’re speaking is bullshit and they want some motivation that’s driven to their core and their meaning. I believe I have a tendency to do that very well because I’ve had and leave the experience of trauma and domestic violence, and brokenness, and gone to war, and seen oppression, and seen poverty, and seen abuse and genocide and being a nurse, seeing death. A lot of my life has been experienced in experience and living and bathing around trauma and quite negative stuff. But I’ve always driven myself to keep the oil in my lantern burning bright, that’s a saying that I bring from Florence Nightingale as a leading nurse, that nurses used to carry lanterns so that soldiers would see the light and they would know there was a nurse there. So for ours, I used to say to nurses, “Keep the oil in your lamp burning bright” because back it the war days, it was no electricity. So the the oils kept the lamps burning, the soldiers could see the lamps, they knew someone was there to help. So I’ve always kept that strong in my heart to make sure that I keep at some point no matter what how much shit I’m dealing with – stay focused, and stay positive and keep the oil in your lantern burning bright so others can see that there is a mission and there is someone there who cares and someone who fight the fight and someone who keep up the resistance per se. So that’s how it came about.

Now this current book is the result of me using this now in our modern world where I’ve made a strong connection with Baby Boomers and the ageing population. And as the world now changes, the world is going to experience a large proportion of people dying, elderly people dying, over nearly a billion of them in the world today, so 900 million by statistics, probably 600 million if you wanted to crack it down. In Australia where I live, it’s about 6 million, in America it’s about 85 to 90 million and this is a large cohort of the population. People aged now between 52 to 72. Their parents are a little bit older than them in their 80s, the Great and Silent Generations are now dying. And we’re about to experience a large transition of ageing, of chronic illness, of pressure on families, pressure on the systems, pressure on healthcare, pressure on government, pressure on economy because many of these people are now going to frail, slow down, retire and palliate and go to the final stage of their life. My mission in this is to educate, empower and give knowledge to the Baby Boomer. So that the Baby Boomers understand first and foremost they are huge impact. They were a huge impact in building the modern world and now is their opportunity to put that into place where they’re going to become a huge impact on the next stage of the modern world where the Millennials will take over but the Baby Boomers need to hold their ground. They need to make the transition correctly and they need to hold the rest of the world – the governments, the politicians, the communities in a space that respects them, that gives them what they need and allows them to transition out. And for families, it’s going to be about facing the reality of change, of death and of dying. And I believe all of this is primarily held in the emotional intelligence and the strength of the Baby Boomer. So for me, I wrote a book, “Aging in the New Age: A Survival Guide for Baby Boomers.” It’s going to be the first of many books in this sequence. And of course I can assure you there’s no money in books, I’m finding that out. But it is a passageway to put the information down and to lead people to information if they want to read it. They’re only small books but they are an extent of a lot of knowledge. I have a lot of experience and the continuing experience of now spending time with Boomers, spending time in retirement villages, spending time around these people and learning from them and also learning from myself and my own cohort of the Boomer community. My wife is a Baby Boomer, friends and a lot of people I hang around are now all Baby Boomers. So I want to be one of the leaders in the guiding lights, the voices, one of the people that sends the strong message of, “Have faith, have strength, build some emotional intelligence.” And remember Boomers, it’s not over, you’re not down and out and we need to be vigilant, and sexy, and wild, and crazy and empower, and in control and we need to plan what is about to come a very dramatic change not only to us, to our families and our circles of influence, but for whole community, a country, the planet. And so that’s why I wrote the book and I want to begin now continuing to speak, and read and write in this space because over the next 30 years Wayne, the Baby Boomer cohort will have a major impact on the way we live our lives.

Wayne:  Tell us about your new book.

Dr. Drew:  My new book is a book written for consumers focused on Baby Boomers, people aged between 52 and 72 years of age today in 2018. And it’s more or less the beginning of a group of survival guides I’m going to give them to ground their intelligence, and their knowledge, and their education, identifying their identity with themselves and help them cope with the changes that are coming in life as the Baby Boomer cohort now ages into its final stage.

Wayne:  What are you passionate about in aged care?

Dr. Drew:  I think my passion in aged care sits in giving quality, and respect and dignity to the elderly who regardless of their medical conditions, and their frailties or what they’re experiencing, they should be an absolute focus on our elders to give them what first and foremost, it is that they require in this last passage. From a nursing perspective, I am passionate about the fact that it is our responsibility in it clinically and professionally as a cohort of health professionals to take the fight to the bedside and from the bedside out to the community to make them understand that this is a mission that has pure integrity. These elderly people have done their time fought their fights, paid their dues in their ways and at this last part of their life, we should be providing optimal care, accommodation and services to allow them to transition to the end of their life with dignity, and respect and choice and I’m very passionate about that.

Wayne:  Why is evidence-based practice so important to you?

Dr. Drew:  The reason evidence-based practice or evidence-based healthcare is important to me is because it sits around the knowledge particularly for me, science no matter what science it is, it could be business. But many, many people learn, and study and do research. Then of course from that research, they produce information, papers, journals, articles and stuff and then that gets translated out into papers, books, textbooks, practices and teachings. And then of course that is then transformed into other practices – beginnings of new science, beginnings of new research, secondary research. So we have primary research, we have transformation of that. We have secondary research where we will synthesize all that other research to come out with what is the best practice. And then after that, we have science implementation which is making all that information workable and usable for clinicians and people at the bedside or in the workspace. So what I found on my journey was I thought I knew it all until I started to do the research. You should never ever think that anything is impossible. Undertake the research and you’ll realize the answer is in that journey. So research and evidence is a journey of discovery, always challengeable and I’m not saying it’s the only empirical data or it’s the be-all and end-all. The beautiful thing about science is it can be always challenged but it shouldn’t be challenged by someone’s opinion, it should be challenged by more science. Now some people don’t acknowledge evidence-based practice or like it. But I believe when you look at it evidence-based healthcare in its pure form, at its peer-reviewed and unbiased form, it allows us to build an extent of knowledge that should be valued, and graded and then allow us to launch into new science. So instead of going back and researching everything again, we should be able to use evidence-based practice to move forward to discover more. So as society grows, more evidence will teach us to leap forward further and we’ll come up with more science – better practice, better ways of doing, we can only improve from it.




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