Dr Vicki Kotsirilos is a respected general practitioner with over 30 years of clinical experience. She emphasises lifestyle and preventative medicine, and combines the best of orthodox and integrative medicine such as diet advice, nutritional medicine, acupuncture and hypnosis. She is dedicated and passionate about her patients, students, health and her work.

She is lead co-author of the popular textbook ‘A Guide to Evidence-based Integrative and Complementary Medicine’, that explores the latest research in lifestyle and integrative medicine for the management of common diseases. Dr Vicki has published well over 150 articles. She formerly wrote regular monthly columns titled Integrative Perspectives for Medical Observer from 1998 till 2019 and is a regular advisor in articles for Neos Kosmos which have to do with health issues.

Due to her extensive community services, in June 2016 Dr Vicki was awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for ‘significant service to integrative medicine, to health practitioner standards and regulations, to medical education, and to the environment’. A year later, she was further awarded an Australia Day Environmental Award by Bayside City Council, for “recognising outstanding and long-term leadership, action, and advocacy for coastal and natural heritage protection in the City of Bayside, and generating community awareness of the value of our Bayside environment.” Other awards include the ACNEM Award in recognition of outstanding service in the field of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine as well as the AGPAL General Practice Excellence Award (only 20 practices Australia-wide won this prestigious general practice award in 2007).

Due to her expertise and ongoing academic and clinical work, Dr Kotsirilos has received a number of Honorary Fellowship awards – for instance from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine and the Australian Society of Lifestyle Medicine.

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Always busy, we’ve asked her what she has been up to during Lockdown.

What have you been reading?
Very little as I like to “switch off” outside of work. Soon I plan to read Honourable Healers about pioneering
brave women medical doctors during the the mid-19th century when women were
expected to stay home and be housewives.

What are you watching?
My husband and I are enjoying McLeod’s daughters during COVID-19. We are up to the last season. We also enjoyed the movie portraying the life of Helen Reddy.

What music are you listening to?
Kalimba sounds, as I would like to learn the mahogany Kalimba instrument.

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What are you cooking?
Whatever vegetables are growing in my garden! Boiled silverbeet in brine cooked for 1 minute, with added lemon and high quality cold pressed olive oil. It is yummy and great for my iron levels!

What is keeping you sane at the moment?
Exercise, especially cycling, and walks along the beach or in a park with lots of trees!

What is work like for you now?
Very busy! I am a GP in the frontline and I want to be there for my patients.

What’s something positive you’ve witnessed or experienced since COVID-19 entered our lives?
How people are learning from the COVID-19 experience and are appreciating the simplicity of life, such as what is essential and important for them, and loving the clean air, peace and quiet with fewer vehicles on the roads.

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What have you learned about yourself during COVID-19?
How much I miss social interaction. And also having to explore new digital ways of learning and socialising.
Zoom meetings are a great way to give and attend medical lectures.
I just joined Facebook and Instagram for the first time in my life! Wow, there is a whole new world out there I did not know about! It has been fun to post photos of the beach, trees, flowers…. anything beautiful to do with the environment as I find wandering in nature is helping me cope with COVID-19.

Where’s the first place you’d like to visit in Greece once travel is allowed?
The island of Paxos! We were meant to go there for our July/August holidays this year and we have a credit for travel and accommodation next year. Should be interesting to see if COVID-19 will still be around in 2021 and if flights will be available as everybody has credits to fly!