The beauty of the written word?

Of the essential skills for doctors, writing has to be up there as one of the most important.  Doctors writing has been the butt of many jokes ove the years – justifiably, and written prescriptions remain a significant source of error in hospitals up and down the land. The medical notes are another area where […]

Read More…

Our caring profession

  The rigours of life as a junior doctor are well described, both in popular modern classics like House of God by Samuel Shem and the television series Scrubs, but also in lesser known works, like A Country Doctor’s Notebook by Mikhail Bulgakov. There are common themes – imposter syndrome, fear of killing patients, bullying […]

Read More…

Still only human

There is something different about medics.  We stand out at university – often forming into a clique that others find difficult to fathom, break into, or tolerate.  We strive to be different in many ways; we learn a huge range of facts and figures, along with new languages ( we are taught about everything from […]

Read More…

It’s good to talk…

When I think about my work on the acute medical unit, or my clinics, it is almost mind boggling, the number of interactions I have with other humans – trainees, consultant colleagues, radiographers, radiologists, professionals from other hospitals, biochemists, nurses, physios, therapists, and of course – patients.  As Atul Gawande points out in this splendid […]

Read More…

I am curious… are you worth your salt?

Clinical curiosity is a key trait amongst learners, and in clinical practice, curiosity is necessary to reach a diagnosis of even the most simple nature, but particularly so to diagnose cases that do not readily fit the heuristics that one brings to bear in everyday clinical work. However, clinical curiosity can be supressed by the […]

Read More…

The great game…

The PMJ editors met recently, and it was a pleasure to meet up with a range of engaged, eloquent, educated and motivated individuals who all share a passion for Postgraduate Medical Education.  It was therefore a little bit of a surprise when a reference to an article on the gamification of medical education proved to […]

Read More…

Professionalism – a team game

Professionalism is one of those peristent themes that run through medical education, and through the comments that are passed whenever there are concerns about clinical performance – be that the perceived clock watching engendered by the EWTD, or the failings at Mid Staffs. Very often the term is used to highlight either a failing, or […]

Read More…

Are you safely socialised?

Changes in role within the medical profession are times of great upheaval.  One of the most challenging is the change from being a medical student to a fully qualified doctor.  A cohort of medical students qualifies every year around June/July time, and members of this cohort take their first steps on the wards and in […]

Read More…

What do all those numbers really mean doc?

  Go into hospital nowadays, and you will do well to escape without having a blood test of some sort.  Very often these are routine tests, which give doctors an overview of the state of play. There might be a few wayward figures here or there – but the doctors will ignore them, or explain […]

Read More…

Yes to one thing… no to the others.

    One of the perennial problems that faces doctors who are in direct contact with patients is time management.  It is the one resource we all have to allocate, and with the multitude of different roles we all have to play – parent / sibling / doctor / teacher / friend / spouse / […]

Read More…