Most of us look forward to Christmas and the New Year regardless of whether one sees it in religious terms or not. It is a time to catch up with family and friends and, shock horror, ignore the finger-waggers and enjoy ourselves, maybe even overindulge a bit.


Dr Joe Kosterich, Clinical Editor

Dr Joe Kosterich, Clinical Editor

The need for letting our proverbial hair down at the end of the year has not been greater in my lifetime. At time of writing the ‘hard’ border was to become a ‘smart’ border enabling those with family and friends interstate to see each other. The impact of separation from loved ones has been underestimated at best, and callously dismissed at worst.

It is time to focus on the positives. As we enter 2021, WA remains blessed by geographic isolation, low population density and a favourable warm(ish) climate. Job losses and business closures have been relatively modest. Our health system has coped admirably. There has been support for local small businesses, and many of us have ventured out to holiday in WA and see parts of the state not previously visited. Our collective mental health has held up better than feared and with the reopening of gyms in June we had only a brief disruption to our exercise regimes.

Normally the December edition has a travel health theme. This year it is a potpourri.

As 2021 approaches, let us hope that our lives increasingly revert to normal whilst we retain the positive changes the pandemic has forced upon us.


We look at infections caught locally and in particular in relation to bites and stings. With summer upon us there is an article on topical treatment of malignant and premalignant skin cancers. Looking after our own mental health as medical professionals is often overlooked so we have a timely reminder and some tips. Mammography screening fell off a cliff in April. Catch-up is occurring but more cancer may be on the horizon. New approaches to breast cancer management are examined as well as how to approach minor anomalies on the FBP.

Medical Forum would not exist without you – our readers. Your support enables us to continue to publish each month and is much appreciated by all the team here. A big thank you to all.

As 2021 approaches, let us hope that our lives increasingly revert to normal whilst we retain the positive changes the pandemic has forced upon us. Let us be grateful for what we have and for the time we have on this planet. I hope that all of you have an enjoyable festive season and that 2021 brings you joy and prosperity.

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