Health Matters On Air

OAR FM’s latest health programme has its origins on a clifftop on Christmas Island, a small Australian external territory in the Indian Ocean.

Back in 2008, Dr Gary Mitchell took to the airwaves from the island’s radio station, chatting about health issues and spinning a few tunes while watching the whale sharks cruise the waters below.

Today, Gary hosts DUDAC and the Duchess from closer to home, although he does return to Christmas Island for a few months of locum work most years.

DUDAC stands for Dunedin Urgent Doctors and Accident Centre, Gary’s place of work. The Duchess might or might not be his daughter, a mysterious occasional contributor to discussions on medical matters major and minor.

On any given episode, you will hear about anything from managing a sprained ankle to managing a pandemic, and sometimes both. Guest speakers shed light on their areas of expertise, including analysis of interesting cases that have presented at Urgent Doctors.

Strict patient confidentiality is ensured for all discussions on real-life cases and while clinical aspects are explored, the primary focus is on demystifying the experience of having an illness or injury.

Recent episodes, which are available to listen to via podcast, have included University of Otago Associate Professor Hamish Wilson’s insights into general practice and teaching, and an introduction to the work of a Dunedin Urgent Doctors nurse.

The series began with a discussion on the coronavirus with Professor Peter Crampton, from the Centre for Hauora Maori at the University of Otago, and Professor Alistair Woodward, from the University of Auckland.

DUDAC and the Duchess airs every second Tuesday at 10am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, with podcasts available from, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.