I’ve been in post for six months now and I can finally say with confidence that I feel as though I have “settled in”. How do I know that I’ve settled in? Re-reading my last blog after three months it’s pretty clear that I wasn’t sure then, and in retrospect even more clear that I … Continue reading Six Months In and I Feel Like I Belong
Yes I was battered and bruised, and no I wasn't capable of fulfilling all the duties of a consultant but despite this I still had a role to play, a way I could contribute to the specialty that I loved, a reason to belong in EM. For the first time in nearly two years I wasn't just a problem, I was a solution.
These are examples of a bias called Emotive Conjugation, which is the tendency for us to judge our own traits, attitudes and actions more charitably than those of others. We play down our own failings and foibles, coming up with excuses and explanations for them, whilst treating those of others more harshly and as personal flaws in their character.
I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about this a lot, and as I have reflected I have come up with a list of 5 things that I believe will stand me in good stead in the weeks and years to come.
The frailties of our cognition are long established and whilst it may not be possible, or even desirable, to have all clinicians thinking alike, we must acknowledge these faults inherent in human thinking and make deliberate efforts to mitigate them. What follows are six simple questions that attempt to trigger a more reflective process by diagnosticians and potentially reduce the impact of erroneous thinking.
Problem solving is a key part of what we do as doctors: that’s what the diagnostic process is. As seniors it is our responsibility to help teach this skill and train our junior colleagues in it but do we actually understand how our brains solve problems and how that might apply to our clinical practice?
This is a very briefly summary of evidence based learning strategies and then my suggestion of how we can apply them to our busy, everyday clinical practice. This is not meant as a substitute for quality time spent with an experienced educator but it is something we can do for ourselves to help compliment and consolidate any formal learning that we receive.