Summary Writer: Divya Iyer
Script Writer: Carla Roscoe
Editor: Angus Pagett
Interviewee: Michael Reade
James sits down with Brigadier Michael Reade from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to discuss combat medicine and blood preservation. Above all, Brigadier Reade has a wide range of expertise and experience in this area. His ambition is to establish the ADF as a major contributor to military trauma research and to ensure the ADF’s policies, training and equipment lead world best-practice.
In this podcast, you will learn more about combat medicine and the interesting and varied career options in the Defence Force.
Brigadier Reade holds the following positions:
Michael is the inaugural ADF Professor of Military Medicine and Surgery. This is a Defence-Industry co-operation position established in 2011 as part of a programme to increase the number of senior specialist doctors in the permanent ADF.
In addition, Michael is anaesthetist and intensive care physician. Also, he holds a clinical appointment at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. Moreover, he has military appointments at Joint Health Command and Army Headquarters. Finally, Michael also holds an academic position as a Professor at the University of Queensland.
Brigadier Reade has first-class honours degrees in medicine and science from the University of Sydney. Additionally, he has a Doctorate of Philosophy in clinical molecular biology from the University of Oxford, UK. Finally, he has a Masters in Public Health, in statistics and clinical trials, from the University of Pittsburgh, USA.
Michael’s contribution to the practice of intensive care medicine was recognised in 2017 with a Higher Doctorate from the University of Sydney. And in 2018, he received a Fellowship of the Royal Institution of Australia. He holds subspecialist qualifications in disaster management and aeromedical retrieval as part of his combat medicine expertise. His specialist clinical training began at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. Then, the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, the Austin Hospital in Melbourne, and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Also, during his leave from the ADF, Michael worked as an attending critical care physician in Pittsburgh for 18 months.
Brigadier Reade was commissioned as a Reserve General Service Officer in 1990 through Sydney University Regiment. As a result, he received a Prince of Wales Award. Hence, he commanded a platoon of US Regular Army soldiers of the 2nd Armoured Division during their National Training Center rotation at Fort Irwin, CA. In 1995-1996, he was a project officer at the Reserve Staff Group. There, he analysed the employment of reserve medical personnel. In 1996 Michael completed medical studies and was posted as Regimental Medical Officer and instructor, University of NSW Regiment 1996-1997. This is where his journey in combat medicine began. And subsequently Sydney University Regiment 1997-1999. From 2000-2004, he was studying in Oxford. Whilst he was there, he was posted to 144 Parachute Medical Squadron RAMC(V).
When he returned from the UK he was a specialist anaesthetist in the Parachute Surgical Team of the 1st Health Support Battalion. He settled in Melbourne in 2007 and he became the OC Clinical Advisory Group, 3rd Health Support Battalion. Further, Michale is a graduate of the Logistic Officer and Land Warfare Centre Staff Officer series of courses. In addition, he also holds the British Army-sponsored diploma in conflict medicine. He has deployed to Bosnia and Kosovo on attachment to the British Airborne Brigade. He has also deployed to East Timor and the Solomon Islands.
In 2009, he was the clinical director of the NATO hospital, Tarin Kot, in Afghanistan. In 2013, he commanded the Australian contingent at the NATO Role 3 Hospital, Kandahar, in Afghanistan. He received a JTF633 Silver Commendation for this. In 2015, he established the ADF’s Role 2E hospital in support of Operation OKRA in Iraq. During this deployment, he received the US Army Commendation Medal for leadership and direct intervention during a life-threatening incident involving a US soldier. He deployed to Iraq again in both 2016 and 2017.
From 2015 to 2018 he was the Director of Clinical Services of the 2nd General Health Battalion. This is the Australian Regular Army’s only field hospital. In 2017, he led this unit to become the first-ever ADF hospital accredited by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Trauma Verification Program. As a result, he became a Member of the Military Division of the Order of Australia in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
In 2019, he was appointed the Assistant Surgeon General – Army. In this role, he is responsible for the technical governance of the specialist clinical personnel in the Australian Army, and for health capability development.
Brigadier Reade’s research interests are:
Michael also leads a programme of research investigating cryopreserved blood products. These technologies hold equal promise to the ADF and rural Australian civilian communities. He has published over 150 papers, delivered more than 300 lectures, and secured over A$22 million in grant funding.
Michael has led ADF guideline development in anaesthesia and blood transfusion. He was the Senior Observer-Trainer for the major 2nd General Health Battalion exercises in 2012-2014. In addition, Michael represents the ADF on the Australian Resuscitation Council, for which he has written three national guidelines. He supervises 12 ADF and civilian postgraduate research students. And he mentors the ADF’s full-time clinical medical trainees. In 2013-14, he was the Chief Instructor on all OP SLIPPER pre-deployment clinical specialist training. He is the Chief Instructor on the ADF Military Anaesthesia course.
Michael’s wife Kathryn is a registered nurse. Together, they have one daughter who is in primary school. He looks forward to returning to rowing and flying General Aviation aircraft whenever time allows.
Brigadier Michael Reade AM MBBS BSc DMedSc Sydney MPH Pitt DPhil Oxford DMCC DIMCRCSEd AFRACMA FCCM FANZCA FCICM.
With Brigadier Michael Reade, Australian Defence Force Professor of Military Medicine and Surgery, Assistant Surgeon General – Army, Director of General Health Reserve – Army and Specialist anaesthetist and intensive care physician.
James sits down with Brigadier Michael Reade to discuss his experiences in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Specifically, they cover the past and future of combat medicine as well as the current advances into innovative blood preservation research. We also gain insight into the opportunities the ADF provides for a medical professional.
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