Monday, 31 October 2011

Je N'aime Pas L'e-portfolio.

Most medical educationalists will choke on their tea when they read this, but I don't care. I don't like e-portfolio. There I said it. I don't care how unpolitically correct it is to say that, or how much I should love the learning points it highlights. I simply detest it.

It would be a bit juvenile of me to just say that and not back it up. Although I pretty much only watch cartoons and enjoy being a giant child I think now is probably the time to grow up a little and justify what I say.

Basically I think e-portfolio is a good idea, but it will never work. I like the idea of logging experiences and charting progression but it's just so difficult. It's just seen as a hoop to jump through so people don't do it properly. For a start half the people I ask to do things for me are computer illiterate. This makes getting eportfolio sign ups such a drag. Then once you've found someone who isn't a complete technophobe, they're too busy to fill out forms.

I think it would work better if there was just a way for us to log the skills we've learnt and the cases we've seen. Surely as doctors we should be trusted not to lie about it? You'd also think that we could be trusted to gain verbal feedback.

Then there is reflection. I reflect a lot mentally. I also reflect a lot verbally. I even sometimes reflect on my blog. This all doesn't stop me feeling like a complete pleb when I know my educational supervisor will be reading back my reflections.

Anyway our e-portfolios are all being reviewed this week so I'm going to spend the better part of this week chasing things for people to put on my e-portfolio, as if we weren't all busy enough with bronchiolitis season, a million viral induced wheezes, a strangely large number of HSP patients and numerous kids with pyrexia of unknown origin. ARGH!

If you haven't already realised I'm a natural worrier, and I really let things like e-portfolio stress me out. Was the same with university log books. Blergh.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Dear Arrogant Medical Student,

I am writing you this letter because you've really been doing a good job of not only upsetting a lot of junior doctors, but also lots of other people in the hospital. You're also making yourself out to be a right pillock. In the true spirit of constructive criticism I am going to offer you some dos and don'ts to help improve things...

Firstly the don'ts...

1. Do not tell an fy1 "I am practically the same as you, I just don't get paid". You are not. We have a year more experience. We passed finals. We have Dr in our credit cards. Although we have a lot to learn from others you can learn a lot from us.

2. Do not smart talk or back chat seniors either on ward rounds or in teaching. Consultants don't like cheeky, it's not cute it's just rude. You might not respect your seniors but we do, so you won't win points off us for it.

3. Do not under any circumstances be rude to the nurses. They know more than you do about hospital medicine. They will also make your life hell. Chances are they will be grumpy with us too because you have put them in a bad mood.

4. Don't tell me you're leaving the ward while we're insanely busy to have a nap. Help out.

5. Don't refuse to do any "boring" jobs and then expect to get teaching while we are ├╝ber busy. A lot of medicine involves boring jobs so get used to them. Also learn about give and take. If you save us time by writing the blood results in the notes then we will have time to teach.

6. Don't refuse to clerk confused, difficult or stinky patients. Get used to it.

7. Don't run away without doing the jobs you said you would, without having told anyone first.

Now we have the don'ts out of the way there is a lot you can learn from the vast majority of lovely, nice, helpful medical students.

1. Do bake cake. Full drs and nurses are much less grumpy & frazzled.

2. Do offer to help with mundane tasks in exchange for teaching.

3. Do let us know if you can't do certain jobs. We do understand and will definitely help.

4. Smile and be nice to everyone. We work as a team, not only does it better pt care but it makes being at work much nicer.

I hope these tips have been useful and that you'll take this on board. I do feel that if you don't then by the end of next week someone may have locked you in a store cupboard and thrown away the key.

Love & hugs

Dr Sunshine & all her colleagues.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Hell on Earth

500 + screaming girls in a small hall for a dance show.

This was the hell I lived through on Sunday. I got up early, drove 40 miles and was forced to sit through around 10 hrs of middle class teenager grabbing their crotches in street dance and grinding against each other suggestively. Not my idea of cool. To make it worse there was no food and then the drinks vending machine broke. I actually thought that I was going to die in that hall.

Luckly I survived.

I managed to recover today as it was the start of half term. This meant that by lunchtime when we had discharged most of our patients we had more doctors than children. I got to spend my afternoon doing some studying and getting the paeds trainees to quiz me. I even wrote a reflective log for my ePortfolio. Going to have to try to do a few more of them. Turns out speciality training likes to read a print out of them. Argh!

Tomorrow I get the day off to do a course on acute care of adults. I think I've completely forgotten adult medicine so I'm really excited!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

I think on reading the title of this post most people will presume it's going to be a moan, but it really isn't. I know I haven't been blogging much, I'm always so busy, but I thought I could catch you guys up a bit on what I've been upto both in and out of work.

Work has been busy, insane and completely awesome. Every single day I see such a variety of ages, illnesses, interventions and people that I never have a moment to get bored. In those rare moments where things slow down some of the amazing registrars either teach me things, or I teach the medical students.

I'm developing a real love for teaching. We get assessed on our teaching and I was so flattered when the woman who assesses us said I have a natural talent for teaching and that my passion comes across. It's really something that I want to develop more and more.

On the subject of medical students, the current bunch we have are such a friendly lot. One of them cooked a bunch of f1s and some of the other students a roast on Sunday. It was delicious... as was the apple and orange blossom pie I baked for pudding. We then had a big bake off on the Tuesday. I made scrummy dark choc and marschino cherry brownies, but one of the students baked a carrot cake which really stole the show. On Thursday we also had a night of drinks and dancing with them.

It's quite tough finding a mixture of things to do. The temptation is to just always meet at the pub, but then a certain number of people who don't drink feel uncomfortable coming along. I think we've really hit the nail on the head with our bowling, baking and pictionary evenings... even if pictionary does bring out my fiercely competitive side.

This week I'm going to try to take it a bit easier so I can get a little more sleep though. I don't want to get to the stage where I'm napping on the pool table (again...)

As a slightly unrelated aside, good luck to everyone doing their FPAS questions. I remember how scary it was. In fact its scary enough to think that this time next year I'll be applying again, but this time for specialist training. Eek!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

New Toy

My laptop has been slowly (and painfully) dying for some weeks now. As I am a doctor of people and not computers there hasn't been much I could do for it. As I did about 40hrs of locum work, at a pretty healthy pay rate, I decided that I could get a new computer...

Then I went into the apple store and madness took hold.

I now have a lovely new baby... My iPad2.

It does pretty much everything I could ever want. I can tweet, blog and watch channel 4 on demand in bed. Life is good.

I am having issues finding a case I want though. There is just so much choice and my decision making is pretty bad. I tried to go to buy a makeshift case in town today, but my town is so backwards that nowhere sold iPad accessories. Also nowhere had any aubergines. I think it should be renamed "bumpkinville". Seriously what kind of place doesn't have aubergines?!

On an unrelated note I have a Halloween party at the end of this month. Should I be a zombie or a pirate?!

Dr Sunshine xXX