On how Web 2.0 just might save someone else’s life…

26 Apr

I haven’t work full time in EM since June 2010. I go back to it in July 2012 after two years teaching anatomy here.

I started this site almost a year ago as a means of keeping in touch with all things EM while I was spending the day job teaching med students and students from other disciplines the minutiae of joint classification.

I first got into podcasts and blogs in about 2009 when I found Emergency Medical Abstracts and Jerry Hoffman changed my whole view of… everything. This was quickly followed by EMCrit and ERCast. My very smart South African friend Vinny put me onto LITFL one day (I don’t know how I missed it) and the rest as they say is history.

People giggle when I say I learnt most of the best stuff I know off YouTube and the internet but there is a lot of truth to it.

This article, which has @MDaware as one of its authors is a nice little review on the value of this type of thing.

Reiter DA, Lakoff DJ, Trueger NS, Shah KH. Individual Interactive Instruction: An Innovative Enhancement to Resident Education. Ann Emerg Med. Elsevier Inc; 2012 Apr. 18;:1–4. PMID 22520994

As I mentioned, I work as a full time pseudo-academic (I say pseudo, as I always feel like “academics” should be a little more substantial “academically” than I am) and I probably have a lot more time than most clinicians to keep up with this stuff. I scan about 20 journals a month for articles, I read over 100 EM blogs, I listen to 30 EM podcasts. I do a lot of this stuff.

When I go back to work as a real doctor I imagine one of two things will happen:

  1. my reading and the content of this site will substantially decrease
  2. my marriage will rapidly disintegrate.

You can understand that it’ll be the former option.

And that’s OK, I have at least another 5 or 6 years training ahead of me at least (yes I know, I’m 8 years out and 6 years to go, that’s a bit crazy sounding but it’s a good thing really…) and all the blogs in the world will never replace the good old fashioned “flight time” that comes from spending time in the ED.

It’s great that all the podcasts and blogs and learning that I do in my own time might start to get recognised as being of actual value within “the system” but I don’t want that to be seen as a substitution for the person to person, protected teaching time that is so important to producing high quality clinicians. The balance between service provision and actual training is also dicy and in Ireland this has been one of the contentious issues. 

2 Replies to “On how Web 2.0 just might save someone else’s life…

  1. Fantastic post, Andy. Quite agree – what a brave new world – it’s great to be riding the wave. Good luck with your return to the trenches.

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