Moving on

3 Jun

So my time in anatomy is over. Almost 2 years to the day since I left the last ED I worked in and changed jobs, got married and moved country (or at least crossed the border…) I am now on my way back to full time ED employment.

This post is a little bit of a sentimental and professional reflection on the past two years.

In the last two years I have:

  • learnt how to teach.I always enjoyed teaching whatever poor med student was stuck with me in the department but I never got that much of an opportunity to do so. Now after over 50 lectures given and countless hours in the disscetion room teaching students I have some grasp of at least how I like teaching. I have an inkling I’m not bad it, but I definitely understand how I teach and that I like it. I summarise my philosophy of teaching (with tongue firmly in cheek) as follows. They’ll be worth a post on their own some day.
    • personality
    • passion
    • relationship
  • learnt lots of anatomy. I was a notoriously below average med student. Largely due to lack of motivation or an understanding of how much this stuff really mattered. As a result I graduated knowing very little and discovered what a wonderful job it was and how little I knew about it. Post-grad study of the basic sciences should be revision but it seemed too often like the first time round for me! I have no doubt that I am now a better clinician because of it.
  • started this website. I am not long past my first birthday on this site. I started it cause I was an ED doctor who didn’t work in the ED and wanted some way to keep in touch with things and keep myself motivated. Like most people involved in the web2.0/social media/e-learning revolution I’m fairly positive on the effect it’s had. Not only have I acquired all kinds of knowledge about EM, I have also developed links (both real and online) with people from all round the world. The site has bee visited about 50,000 times in the past year and currently seems to pull in 250 views a day. It has opened all kinds of opportunities that I never expected and still remains as fun and challenging as it was.
What’s next?

I have to go learn how to be an ED doctor. My slightly tangential career path has left me 8 years post grad with another 6 years or so to qualify as a fully certified emergency physician. While I probably have a more detailed knowledge of the EM literature than a lot of folk I have a sever deficit in probably the single most important quality in an ED doc – experience. I have a hell of a lot to learn and as always the best place to learn the skills, practices and virtues of being an ED doctor is in the ED.

Working in the ED is, however, bloody hard work. So you can expect a decrease in the amount of activity on here so forgive me in advance.


Thanks, above all to the academic and technical staff of the anatomy department of TCD. Good and passionate people who imparted all kinds of skills and knowledge to me.

And cheers to the varied students who I’ve had the honour of teaching and learning from in the past few years. I know at least a few of you read the blog so please feel free to keep in touch.

The anatomy department’s recent Heineken promo shoot…

14 Replies to “Moving on

  1. I’m happy I discovered the blog this year. I always enjoyed your lectures, you’ve taught me a lot over the past two years.
    Best of luck with the rest of your career, I hope you got as much out of your time here as you put in!

  2. Keep up the excellent work…. Its easy for the fire to fade when the clinical workload kicks in. IF all you leave is what you’ve done, you had a heavy footprint. (i.e. you made a good impression)

  3. You are a brilliant lecturer and I’ve heard many classmates and friends from other courses say how good you are at teaching. Your future med students are fortunate individuals! I am glad you took the time out to teach us. Thanks and good luck!

  4. Andy, I always read your blog after being put on to it by my work colleagues here in Perth (the LITFL crew). As an Irish Trinity grad who somehow got stuck in Perth after my intern year and got convinced to do my FACEM here, I’m glad to see the same crew are all in the anatomy department as were there when I was a student are still there (granted I guess 7 years isn’t that long ago)! I loved that department and the amazing bunch of staff there and it sounds like you added greatly to the department (not to mention the constant smell of toast in the old department)! Anyway, I know you’ll love the return to the fast lane. I’m sure shortly it’ll feel like you never left. Though I do understand the worry as I’m quite nervous about my return to Dublin for a year after three years working in the Australian system!!
    I might meet you at ICEM 2012. I’m already looking forward to it! Keep up the good work and all the best!

    • Cheers Una

      The smell of toast is much less prominent in the new place.

      Be sure and let me know when you’re at ICEM and i’ll get you a tour of the new anatomy dept if you’re interested. Domhnall from is coming too and he’s a trinity grad so just drop me an email and we can arrange to meet.


      • Hiya Andy,
        yeah would defo be keen to do a tour of the new department! Land in Dublin on the 26th of June and should be at ICEM every day unless seriously precluded by a very sore head 😉 . Will have to check out your cric poster. I’ve only got my research up and running that I was hoping to have done for ICEM so I’ll have to wait for another time. (Silly ethics).

  5. Does that mean you’re moving this side of the border again? Give me a shout if you’re up someday. Hope you’re well. Well done with the site!

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