There’s a new face in Perth Children’s Hospital’s diabetes clinic – meet consultant paediatric endocrinologist Dr Craig Taplin! We asked Craig a few questions to help to get to know him and find out what drew him to Perth.
Where is home normally? I am from Sydney and remain a loyal and proud Sydney Swans fan! However, I moved overseas in 2006 with a three-year plan which became 13 years — first in Denver, Colorado and then Seattle. I finally made it back home to Australia in 2019. The Pacific Northwest of the United States will always be like a second home to us – it’s a beautiful place but we are really enjoying WA.
What drew you to Perth? I have known Professor Liz Davis and Professor Tim Jones for several years, and we previously worked together on some projects regarding the management of exercise in type 1 diabetes. We share many clinical and research interests, especially exercise and diabetes technology. So, Perth is a wonderful fit and it’s already clear that I made a great move professionally. From a personal perspective, I felt like it was time to bring my family home to Australia. I have long known how pure the beaches are here, and the chance to explore it all is a fun new start for us.
Areas of expertise? I enjoy all aspects of the field of exercise, and exercise physiology, and how powerful it is as a tool for a healthy life, especially for those with diabetes but really for all chronic disease. I started working in the field of exercise and type 1 diabetes when I was in Colorado (2006-2009) and have continued in that area ever since. I also enjoy looking after those on automated insulin delivery systems.
Why diabetes? When I was a paediatric registrar at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in 2000, I rotated to endocrinology for three months. I felt an immediate connection then with the children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and their families and what they were going through. It is especially satisfying to see how quickly newly diagnosed children with type 1 diabetes feel better after only a few doses of insulin — it seemed so amazing to me back then, and it still does. What I did not know then was how exciting and dynamic the next 20 years would be – better insulins and pumps, then CGM, then real-time CGM, then remotely monitored real-time CGM, and now automated insulin delivery…. and that feels like just the start. The key role families have played in that progression is key — parents have pushed the envelope as the strongest possible advocates for their children. It’s really been amazing to watch and be a tiny part of.
Favourite part of the job? Working with my new colleagues here at PCH and Telethon Kids Institute especially around exercise and type 1 diabetes has been great. I’m also very impressed with how well the children of WA do in terms of their glucose control. This team and the patients we care for should be proud of the outcomes being achieved. The diabetes clinic is a lot of fun and the team is very focused on working together for all children. It’s been easy for me to fit in and so for that I am very thankful.
Seen much of Perth? We landed in Perth in September, and to be honest we’re just starting to scratch the surface. Running along the Swan River and spotting the dolphins early in the morning is hard to beat, as is Cottesloe Beach on the weekend… but so far, my absolute favourite spot is Little Parakeet Bay on Rotto. Next up is Ningaloo and then the great Southern region.