Feedback after consultation

As many of you know I run a skin cancer business. Doctors essentially lease space from us to conduct their skin cancer practice. They pay us a percentage of their income to perform certain duties including marketing and advertising, recalls and reminders.

Is it acceptable for me to ask patients for feedback on their consultations so that I can work out which are good and which are bad doctors working in our space?

How else can I weed out bad doctors?

Should I weed out bad doctors?

If I have one doctor with great feedback and who builds their practice well and I have a not so good doctor who makes no effort to build their practice  and they both have a spare appointment tomorrow, who should get the one patient that phones?

Should doctors pay a different percentage to me depending on how much effort they make to build their own practice by building relationships? Obviously, I will have to spend much more on advertising and marketing for those doctors that do not make an effort to build their practices.

Should I tell patients that all doctors are independent practitioners and they can takes their chances on who they get?

Very interested in your feedback

Ian

 

 

 

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  1. #1 by Stephen Wassall on August 27, 2011 - 4:25 am

    If you are merely acting as a Service Company then I think it would be unwise to ask for feedback etc. Patients also tend to be poor judges of quality and probably are really giving feedback on personality. I would be inclined to take the diplomatic path and state that all doctors are independent practitioners. If you have a genuine grievance with a doctor I presume you are able to terminate your contract with them?

    • #2 by Andrew Montanari on August 30, 2011 - 7:23 am

      I totally agree with these very good points.

  2. #3 by jane on August 27, 2011 - 5:34 am

    Part of the General Practice accreditation process requires patient feed back surveys so this is already considered acceptable practice in a medical context, albeit in GP land. I find patients often give feedback, positive and negative, to the receptionists on their way out so asking the receptionists is a great way to get an idea on how Drs are performing.

    It is already common practice in general practice for Drs to be on different percentages based on number of sessions per week, number of patients seen, experience and qualifications etc. This may seem unfair to some but if someone is prepared to fork out time and money to gain extra qualifications and to work harder they do deserve higher renumeration IMHO (it doesn’t seem fair that someone who only wants to do 4 sessions a week and see 3 patients per hour should be paid the same rate as someone doing 10 sessions a week, seeing 5 patients an hour and upgrading their skills in their ‘spare time’.)

    Weeding out bad Drs, hmmm, difficult one, apart from gross negligence how do you define a ‘bad Dr’, poor communication/clinical skills? can’t be bothered keeping good notes to assist other Drs in the practice? leaves consult rooms like a pigsty for the next session? borrows others’ equipment without permission and fails to return it or worse breaks it?

    Ultimately patients weed out bad Drs by refusing to see them again and GPs soon learn who not to refer to.

  3. #4 by Hein Vandenbergh on August 27, 2011 - 7:07 am

    Hi Ian,

    I am not sure whether this reply will be posted: I have – relatively recently – acquired every man’s wet dream [an Apple] and am more than a little disappointed – my replies do not seem to come through even though initially they show as having been posted. However, I’ll cut and paste my reply and send to your personal mail as well.

    You raise some very interesting issues, none of them entirely clear at law, although a wide range of case-law exists.

    “Drs paying you a percentage of their income [for you to do certain things]” – that is fee-splitting and illegal. Strictly speaking, the whole of the fee must go to the Dr, and you charge them a service fee, which may be contractually calculated any which way. In practical terms of course, you subtract the service fee however calculated and pay them the remainder. A tax-invoice must be raised for the service fee – which must include GST – and the dr claims the GST as an input credit. Say you contract that the service fee shall be calculated at 30% of the dr’s gross earnings, the doctor gets 67% of those earnings through your trust account [more about that later], you retain 33%, pay the 3% to the tax-office, which the dr then claims back through their BAS return. Sorry, I’m not very good at describing the various loops in the tax-sequence, but you get my drift: you both get your contracted amount, although a percentage dribbles through the system.

    The next issue is how your/the individual’s doctor’s ‘business’ is perceived by or presented to the public. The patients pay YOU, or your business name [which should go into a ‘drs holding or trust account’], the clinics are promoted under your business-name [NOT the individual dr’s name], you yourself say that ‘YOU RUN A skin cancer business’, etc. The perception is that the doctors are seen as employees, and thus the Courts may well hold that they are, for a variety of reasons. Even the tax dept may so hold, depending on how many other ‘contracts’ the drs have elsewhere. They become ‘deemed employees’ of your business. Think also about w/comp implications etc!

    You – albeit on their behalf as well as your own – promote ‘your’ business – I do not think you name the individual drs in your promotional material.

    Thus, through the actions of the drs working under contract for you, you build-up your business and its image/reputation.

    In my opinion, but always provided you set this out in the individual contracts with each dr, you can ask the patients attending your clinic how their experience of attending your clinic was, including their experience with any individual dr.

    In terms of your marketing, unfortunately the ‘bad’ drs will ride on the coat-tails of any good reputation established for you by the good ones. A solution there may be an annual percentage review based on performance, incl that as reflected in patient surveys.

    I think it is important to note on/in your promotional material that ALL doctors are independent practitioners working as contractors for your business and on your behalf. Not in tiny print, but as an obvious though not ‘headline’ manner. You can also indicate that pts may ask for an individual dr by name – that may even make the bad ones sit-up and improve their game.

    Maybe talk to some accountants and lawyers who do a lot of work for businesses which run as franchises [although the physical side of things, i.e. shared premises will be different].

    I could go into the law of contract and of vicarious liability or actions, but if you promote a business under a certain flag, all those who are involved in it, particularly in its service delivery, are part of it: except in exceptional [sorry…] circumstances the law will hold them to be ‘your business’. The good thing about that is that you have quite a few rights in terms of contractual clauses such as questionnaires about pt perception/experiences with individual doctors: they cannot have it both ways – after all, they represent your business.

    Hope this was not too confusing. Try and see it as a common sense view of ‘what constitutes your business’.

    Cheerio/Hein

  4. #5 by Hein Vandenbergh on August 27, 2011 - 7:56 am

    BTW, yes, of course, you should weed-out bad doctors BUT beware ‘due process’!!! And the quality of the evidence any action may be based on.

    /H

  5. #6 by Hein Vandenbergh on August 27, 2011 - 8:34 am

    Jane, I think the issue here is more that – as legally constituted – the drs are ‘their own business’, and there are legitimate concerns about another party’s right to inquire into that. Privacy legislation is a funny beast. If the drs are employees, yes, of course, a clear right. But if they are not employees, the matter is less clear cut. I think that that was – quite properly – Ian’s concern. As a lawyer I share it, and although he’s likely to win any legal argument should a contracting dr take things to Court, one has to be very careful, it may open a can of worms. A specific contractual clause, not only in skin cancer clinics but in any business so structured or operated, is essential.
    /H

  6. #7 by Hein Vandenbergh on August 27, 2011 - 8:55 am

    Sorry to keep hammering away at this, Ian, i promise I’ll stop after this. You say that drs lease space from you to conduct their business. That, under the NSW Conveyancing Act, makes it a transaction in real estate and the contract for it MUST be under seal for it to be enforceable. You’d be better to put it differently.

    Forget about ‘leasing-out a space’, just focus on the service fee [secretarial, banking, accounting, advertising etc].

    /H

  7. #8 by Dr Ian Katz on August 27, 2011 - 8:57 am

    thanks for all comments so far
    Ian

  8. #9 by A Lilleyman on August 27, 2011 - 9:40 am

    How about running at 6 monthly audit as part of the doctors contract for educational purposes. Thats how doctors in the public hospital system stay in touch with their peers.
    That provides a guide on how doctors are performing from diagnostic and procedural outcomes.

    Generally staff can give feedback about the patient and staff interactions by the doctor.

    Patient movement will also provide an indication – what percentage of patients choose to return and request the same doctor, how many request NOT to see a particular doctor, and what percentage go somewhere else after being seen at your clinics. If a pattern is recognised around a particular doctor, early intervention can take place before damage to the clinics reputation.

  9. #10 by Alison Phillips on August 27, 2011 - 11:43 am

    Ian, if you are running a ‘branded’ service that the doctors are leasing, then I think it is in all their interests for you to ‘manage’ bad doctors in some way. Problems usually arise in this situation because the service provider only makes money if doctors use their services, and they are therefore less interested in the quality of the ‘product’ – just the ongoing income.

    Ally.

  10. #11 by DR T on August 27, 2011 - 11:54 am

    It is interesting to read Heins points. One question always crops up whether Doctors working on set hours entitled to receive paid Super.

  11. #12 by SkinSense Clinic on August 27, 2011 - 2:29 pm

    Hi, I think pt feedback is essential to running a business. What is more important is what questions you put on the form. ie, instead of asking what the pt thought of the doctor you could ask ” would you refer this doctor to friends or family”; or ” would you recommend this clinic…” Both ways give you the same information.

    I also think that a dr’s percentage should be graded to Key Performance Indicators (KPI). What are your KPIs for your business? ie, how much they make per hour? what percentage of their pts would recommend them to others ? how often they get complaints ? Once you work out your KPIs then justifying a certain percentage to a dr is easy, plus it gives them something to work towards if they want to earn more.

    good luck

    John

  12. #13 by anon. on August 27, 2011 - 2:39 pm

    I guess the question is; Is it acceptable for a third part to ask patients to fill in a survey about a doctor, immediately after the consultation, or should the details of a consultation remain forever between the doctor and patient, for no-one esle to read about?

  13. #14 by Dr JG on August 27, 2011 - 10:43 pm

    What’s the big deal. AGPAL mandates regular feedbacks anyway.
    No like feed backs ?
    That’s becos you’ve got something to hide ! correcto ?

    Riding the wave of prosperity at everybody’s expense.

    Good docs make money and care about the wider world.

    Bad docs make good money through rorts and loopholes and not a care in the world – Their little worlds.

    Contractors – all and good. But, as the bussiness owner IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HIRE GOOD CONTRACTORS. If you were in the building game and your company hired a bad contractor to the work then your reputation would be in the poo too and you might well be liable for shoddy work.

  14. #15 by Hein Vandenbergh on August 28, 2011 - 12:16 am

    Agree with JG in general, esp the builder’s analogy, but just because AGPAL says ‘get feedback’ does not make it contractually legal IF THAT FEEDBACK IS OBTAINED ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE’S BUSINESS WITHOUT THEIR EXPRESS CONSENT. That is the issue facing Ian, not whether it should or should not be obtained. There are some nasty folk out there, yes, even amongst drs ;-), and if they feel that an action by a ‘mere’ provider of secretarial and admin support etc may have an adverse effect on their earnings they may get nasty.

    AGPAL has no legal standing as such, even in GP land, they are a mere agent of feedback to those who distribute Govt money to an accredited practice [RACGP, the Govt’s handmaiden in making life hard] – and they certainly have no legal standing in Ian’s situation.

  15. #16 by Doris Hasslocher on August 28, 2011 - 12:59 am

    Hi Ian,

    You are raising two separate issues here, which nobody so far seems to have commented on:

    1. whether the doctor is a “good” doctor, i.e. professional, does the right thing, communicates well, is skilled in diagnosis and surgery, has a good bedside manner, treats the staff well and works as a team, etc etc. Of course you want “good” doctors! How could you not? It’s what you are expected by the patients to provide. If you have not-so-good doctors, you might consider helping them improve before you “weed them out” simply because this might be more cost effective, and better PR than immediately getting rid of them, but at the end of the day you are running a business and you are providing a service so it stands to reason you will do what you can to have good quality practitioners. How you assess that is another matter.

    2. whether they “build up their practice” as you put it – e.g. ask their pts to get their relatives checked, get the pts to come back for review, in other words, generate more business – is this part of the doctors’ role??? I would like to hear what others think. There is an argument to say that this is part of what you are providing for your percentage of their billings, along with reception staff, computers, software, electricity, phones, recalls. If they wanted to build up their own practice and/or had the skills/knowledge to do it, why would they work at your clinic instead of their own? This requires having sales skills, which is unrelated to the skills needed in point 1. Obviously there is a balance, you don’t want doctors actively dissuading business, but by definition, if they are “good” as above, isn’t that enough?

    Doris

  16. #17 by Dr Ian Katz on August 28, 2011 - 1:07 am

    Doris – I think we all know that if they are “good” doctors, your second question will in most part take care of itself.

    Another point is say you have 5 doctors working in a practice as independent contractors, they are essentially all competing against each other for patients. I know of other industries where their booking for clients may be determined by their relative feedback (not saying some are good and some are bad).

  17. #18 by Tony Dicker on August 28, 2011 - 6:06 am

    Pop. *watches worms wriggle all over the computer screen*

    You’ve done it again Ian, a good topic. One I’ve struggled with as well. How many more cans of worms can you open.

    Although I started off thinking I was running a skin cancer business, I now accept the fact that the business is really a ‘facilities provision service’. Buildings, lights, staff, telephones are all supplied to a doctor; who walks in the door and sees the clients. Initially the clients are created by the business, but over time the new clients are attending because of the doctor. It then raises questions about who owns the client base, and whether anyone really can own the client anyway. The second part is who owns the medical record, created by the doctor but stored on software paid for by the company. This is a side issue to the question raised, and only becomes relevant when the two parties are in dispute.

    When I’ve asked people if they wanted KPI’s (key performance indices), the response is usually a nervous yes. Many skin cancer doctors are uncertain about how well they are going in a speciality area, and want the feedback, but don’t want their information passed on to others. it’s also not industry standard in medicine, even though it is common in other service industries such as law and engineering.

    It’s then a matter of what information to collect in KPI’s. If all you collect is financial information, then the ethos of the company will become about the $. if the KPI’s resolve around the service provided, then the message to staff, doctors and patients is ‘we care about service’.

    For me, client feedback about the service is a worthwhile thing, as that is what I want the business to be focused on. Subcontracted doctors who don’t want that feedback probably shouldn’t be working there in the first place.

    “If I have one doctor with great feedback and who builds their practice well and I have a not so good doctor who makes no effort to build their practice and they both have a spare appointment tomorrow, who should get the one patient that phones?”

    Your reception staff will do this automatically anyway. The good doctor will always get the extra patient. The staff know who they think are good and who they like. They get the informal feedback from the patients and book future people based on that.

    “Should doctors pay a different percentage to me depending on how much effort they make to build their own practice by building relationships? Obviously, I will have to spend much more on advertising and marketing for those doctors that do not make an effort to build their practices.”

    Common sense would say, I’ll charge you a higher percentage service whilst I spend money to help you build your practice. Once the cost of providing services for the doctor is cheaper, then the commission charged would be lower (so the doctors percentage received is higher). As to whether this can happen in the real world!!!

    The other option is performance bonus. Set a base percentage service fee (say 50%) and then have a set formula for calculating a bonus. The bonus scheme could be partly financial and partly service related targets.

    enough of my rabbiting on…

    Tony

  18. #19 by SG on August 28, 2011 - 7:34 am

    Getting feedback from patients, if used as an audit cycle tool to identify a problem and bring about a change is worthwhile, but if used as a tool to weed out the bad doctors, then it will lead to problems. Not sure about the contractors legal responsibilities.

  19. #20 by Dr Ian Katz on August 28, 2011 - 11:15 pm

    Another comment that was made was about the questions asked – the main question of course was whether they would refer a friend.

    I did ask some supplementary questions (out of interest mainly) about whether Vitamin D was discussed and whether the doctor explained what sort of lesions to watch out for. I wonder if this is delving too deeply into the doctor/patient relationship?
    Ian

  20. #21 by shaun on August 29, 2011 - 12:17 am

    I believe patient feedback is paramount to ensuring patients needs are met with consultations

  21. #22 by Alison Phillips on August 29, 2011 - 10:34 am

    I don’t think you should be too specific in your questions – patients are not always reliable in what they remember, and unless you have laid down ‘mandatory’ areas to be covered in the consultation, it is very individual as to what exactly is discussed.

  22. #23 by Hein Vandenbergh on August 30, 2011 - 3:37 am

    Ian – the SCCANZ standards require that prevention is discussed. Now THERE’s a topic! – Vit D, ? dangers of nanoparticles in new sunblocks, skin’s inability to produce Vit D after a certain age etc etc. Most important one we are focussing on now is ‘who’s watching YOUR back?’ and then explain how easy it is with mobile phone based cameras which you can download for regular comparison of change. A fertile field.

  23. #24 by Andrew Montanari on August 30, 2011 - 7:45 am

    The question itself is very interesting. What exactly is being asked here?
    1. “How to improve the quality of a practice”
    2. “How to make more money”.

    The wording of the question suggests the answer.

    For us as doctors to talk about “Running a Business” sounds rather mercenary and commercial.
    In Australia we used to talk about “Running a Practice”; the wording reflects a fundamental difference between a professional career and the crude money-making venture that medicine has degraded into.

    What has become of out noble profession?

  24. #25 by Andrew Montanari on August 30, 2011 - 7:46 am

    last line typo:

    What has become of our noble profession?

  25. #26 by Hein Vandenbergh on August 30, 2011 - 10:43 am

    Our noble profession, Andrew, has had to move with the mercenary times. It is people like Ian, and those who founded SCCANZ and tried to introduce standards against the wishes of the Govt’s handmaiden [see above], who try to reconcile the conflicting priorities of survival [i.e. being a business] with those of remaining professional. It is called progress, and during adjustment periods these conflicts arise, to give birth to a greater, more integrated whole. Read history – my hobby.

    At a meeting on the future of general practice at a teaching hospital in Sydney a few years ago it was seriously proposed that we keep a log of time spent making phone calls and charge pts accordingly. THAT is NOT moving with the times as a profession, that is becoming a beancounter. We must have the freedom to know that OUR OWN PROFESSIONAL fee, not the Medicare peanut, on aggregate over many patients, pays for that time.

    Medicare has neutered us, and people are desperate to survive without falling into corporate hands. Welfare and health should be left in the hands of the professions, not in the grubby ones of ill-educated, self-serving pollies. If one is a professional, all of that can be taken care of without political interference and medical paternalism. One need not be paternalistic. i.e. make it obvious to the less advantaged that your exhibiting compassionate, humanitarian empathy is evidence that YOU are doing THEM a favour. That is not necessary, as we can only do this when those who are more advantaged pay a fair fee – not ‘fair for our personal gain’, but for that of us and our disadvantaged patients collectively.

    See, one CAN reconcile socialism with capitalism: it’s called communalism. What has happened to our noble profession is that some of us try to maintain its standards, without a community backing us in spirit. I could go on – but better wait for the book: I need the money!

  26. #27 by A Lilleyman on August 30, 2011 - 8:56 pm

    And as we try to maintain bulk billing for pensioners, our staff (nurses and receptionists) are asking for another pay rise!

    • #28 by Andrew on August 31, 2011 - 7:55 am

      Sorry for sounding anti-capitalistic. Not intended at all.
      I’m all for private billing and the freedom to set our own fees.
      I totally agree that Medicare has made us wimps.

      The discussion was about weeding out poor $-performing colleagues.
      I just don’t agree with keeping tallies on our $-making abilities within a practice.

      Weeding out the poor medical performer is one thing, but simply looking at who can make the most within a practice will lead to problems. There will be a pressure to over-service, to ‘milk’ patients (as care plans are doing now) and to neglect what is medically important and to concentrate on what earns the most.

      Do we want to become pushy medical salesmen?

      • #29 by Hein Vandenbergh on August 31, 2011 - 11:43 am

        Andrew – agreed wholeheartedly. Mine was more a philosophical analysis of what is currently happening – not only to us, but to society/communities in general.

  27. #30 by Hein Vandenbergh on August 30, 2011 - 10:22 pm

    Yes, they have been caught in the same selfish loop of greed as the rest of our community. After all, a person’s worth is measured in how much they earn, not?

  28. #31 by John Olliver on August 31, 2011 - 12:27 pm

    Feed back questions should be non clinical. Every consultation is different and contextual. If you start to meddle with the doctor and patient’s individual consultation then should might end up in the poo yourself. Pathology business is very different to a clinical business. There is no point in forcing the Vit D question onto a patient. There is no point in ask a patient to stop smoking when he or she only want a script for topical steriod. Such non related can be asked oportunistically when the situation allows. Don’t force your clinical bias onto patients or doctors. In psychiatry the term is ‘Transference’

  29. #32 by Alison Phillips on September 1, 2011 - 10:58 am

    Hein, you have encapsulated my thoughts about fees entirely – those that can pay must do so – not to make me rich (that will never happen) but to afford those that really can’t, provision of their care, especially as the government mismanages funding spectacularly.

    However, due to the common misconception that a bulk billed service is “free,” I bill even pensioners (apart from those I know from old and I know are not swanning off on extended overseas trips every 6 months for example) a nominal fee for their annual check up. This has been very effective in dissuading the “well, it’s free, so let’s have a check and then have lunch and do some shopping” brigade, most of whom have minimal risk above the norm and are young from clogging up my bookings. I don’t bill them for the year after that, because I’d hate to dissuade them from seeking and receiving treatment appropriately.

    I also agree with all the comments about failure to appreciate docs who do more than just make money for their corporate/employer/service provider. I know of some doctors who see 2-3 times the number of patients I see (and so make that much more money for the service provider), yet they are only booked a week ahead, whereas I never get much below 2 months. I’m not saying they’re providing bad medicine, just that patients do appreciate time and a chance to talk. “KPI’s” (and I violently detest the term) should NEVER be about income only where doctors are concerned – how about diagnostic accuracy and appropriate treatment for better markers?

    Re feedback questions, I agree with John Olliver that detailed clinical questions are inappropriate, as I said before. Do you want computers or clinicians? There is far too much of “tick box” enforcement already encroaching on our noble profession – do you want to increase that? Ask if the patient was satisfied and if they’d refer their friends and relatives. Yes, there will be the occasional persuasive psychopath doctor who will convince their patients that they are the best (Hein, we know who we are talking about!) but overwhelmingly, you will succeed that way.

    All the best.

  30. #33 by Hein Vandenbergh on September 1, 2011 - 10:32 pm

    John – I hear what you are saying, but a general rubric of discussing ‘prevention’ is hardly inappropriate, and of the utmost importance. HOW you do that is another matter – although how one can ever get into a situation of true ‘transference’, with the meaning psychiatry has unscientifically ascribed to it, is dubious, UNLESS you talk about yourself. No, prevention is a must, although, like fluoride with dentists, we may ultimately do ourselves out of a job. But just consider the associated lack of human suffering……

  31. #34 by Di Tron on September 2, 2011 - 1:58 am

    this VD ( veneral disease ? Vitamin D ? ) is overhyped. I gave a talk on this stuff long a go to GP CME night. Every one knows about it. There is a doktore name Dr Garlic or It is Garlik ? can’t remenber. He is the expert talker in Vitamin D….. lacking in vitamin D is not going to kill you. your melanoma is not gonna run wild. You are not going to stop melanoma multiplying by having a good dose of VD ( gonna-rhea excluded ) just becos’ some one showed that VD stops melanoma from multiplying in a petry dish…. Look at those unfortunate girls who were imprizoned by Frizt and the abnormally like. They spend allmost their entire life underground and yet they still look fine physically! LOOK AT VD in context everybody ! the govenment i heard lately want to stop GPs from ordering VDs

  32. #35 by Hein Vandenbergh on September 3, 2011 - 4:50 am

    Hey, Dai, garlick is healthy, too! What I was hooking in on was general discussion on prevention. A vast field. As important as doing the screening.

    Me? I put garlick through my vit D to make it palatable 😉 BTW, how are you, you old rogue?

  33. #36 by Di Tron on September 4, 2011 - 11:17 pm

    Hi, Hein.

    It’s Horlic; found him on utube ( not the chocho drink ! )

    see him AT

    and check out this one : the worse rubish i’ve ever see :

  34. #37 by Dr Ian Katz on September 4, 2011 - 11:34 pm

    The guy’s name is Holick and this is becoming very mainstream. I suggest you go and listen to him talk at the Bosch Institute: Vitamin D: biology beyond bones where very mainstream and well-regarded researchers are presenting:

    Date: Wednesday 9th November 2011
    Venue: Footbridge Theatre, University of Sydney
    Keynote speakers: Dr Michael Holick, University of Boston; Prof Rebecca Mason, University of Sydney; Kellie Bilinski, Westmead Breast Cancer Institute
    Cost: Free, although bookings will be essential

    Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D. is Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics; Director of the General Clinical Research Unit; and Director of the Bone Health Care Clinic and the Director of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University Medical Center.
     
    Dr. Holick has made numerous contributions to the field of the biochemistry, physiology, metabolism, and photobiology of vitamin D for human nutrition. As a graduate student he was the first to identify the major circulating form of vitamin D in human blood as 25-hydroxyvitamin D3. He then isolated and identified the active form of vitamin D as 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Dr. Holick has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications and written more than 200 review articles. He has acted as editor and/or co-editor on 12 books, and has written The UV Advantage in 2004 and The Vitamin D Solution in 2010.

    Rebecca Mason is Professor and Head of Physiology, Deputy Director of the Bosch Institute at the University of Sydney, on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research a Board member of Osteoporosis Australia and President of the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society. She is a member of the Technical Committee of the Commission Internationale de L’Eclairage on Sunlight, Health and Vitamin D and of the Cancer Councils of Australia Working Party on Sun and Health.

    Kellie Bilinski is Senior Clinical Dietitian and Coordinator of Westmead Breast Cancer Institute’s (BCI) research program. She is completing her PhD in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney. As research leader for Westmead Breast Cancer Institute’s Vitamin D Research Stream her research interests focus around the role of vitamin D, lifestyle and metabolic factors in breast cancer prevention and prognosis. Kellie has over 17 years experience as an Accredited Practicing Dietitian.

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