I would not dream of suggesting that I know much about philosophy and medicine. Rick Body and Michelle Johnston would no doubt be able to wipe the floor with me on any philosophical questions, but I try and maintain a passing interest, usually by picking up the easy access books at the airport to try and look cleverer than really am around some foreign pool whilst the masses struggle through the latest Dan Brown or worse E.L James (not sure which is worse to be honest).
Anyway, one book I picked up a few years back is by Roger-Pol Droit and is entitled ‘101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life’. You might well have read it as it sold many copies and as a book of personal exercises it’s fun in places and never really that serious, but there are some interesting personal exercises in there. What it does do is allow the reader to practice and contemplate a small part of philosophy and I like that idea. I would also draw an analogy with music. Many years ago I almost chose a career as a muscician rather than as a doctor, and a significant part of practice was the use of focused studies rather than playing complete pieces. Again, the idea is that the musician practices certain elements of technique in relative isolation so that they become good at that element, later combining the specific skills into an entire performance. For example my double-tonguing improved fantastically as a result of many hours in the company of Kohler.
In medicine we do similar training when it comes to the acquisition of clinical skills such as IV access and airway procedures, but intellectually we perhaps don’t consider cognitive tasks in the same way….., perhaps we should.
Our aim in this series is to develop a series of personal experiments focused around the clinician that test and challenge their thoughts, thinking, empathy, communication and practice. These are intended to largely be personal journeys that encourage learning through repetition and reflection. Some are based in emergency medicine clinical practice, many through teaching, and some merely as humans. We hope you find them interesting and occasionally challenging. Click on the link below to see what we have achieved so far.
As I post this blog we have the first 30 up on the site and plans for more. We will keep adding to the list and who knows, in time we may end up with 1001.
PS. 101 may be ambitious, but we like ambition
PPS. If you have a great idea for the series then let us know we’d love to incorporate it.