Caveats and cautions

At St.Emlyn’s we like to think of ourselves as a fairly diverse bunch with a range of skills and ideas. At heart we are all career emergency physicians with an interest in education, though all of us have areas of particular interest.

We are really keen to share the thoughts and ideas that we discuss on a daily basis. We don’t always agree but we feel that is our strength. We constantly question each other and challenge each other in the clinical environment and we want to do the same here. There is therefore no house style here and I’m not sure anyone is in charge. What matters is that we can share our thoughts in safe environment and whilst we will keep an eye on each other to make sure nothing silly is said. We have an editorial board which we use to make sure everyone stays on track.

The opinions, thoughts and musings on this website are attributable to the author and not the team as a whole and certainly not to the numerous organisations we work for.

As a guide we follow the thoughts of the GMC in the UK which can be found here.

We also follow the advice of the GMC regarding consent. The BMA also has a very useful guide to the use of social media socialmediaguidance(1)

There is also an excellent summary of guidance from around the world here from the excellent Life in the Fast Lane. The bottom line is be safe, be sensible and don’t say anything here that you would not say in a clinical or public setting.


Case studies on St.Emlyn’s

We occasionally present hypothetical cases on St.Emlyn’s. These are based on the experience of our team as educationally active emergency physicians. For centuries doctors and nurses have used stories to teach and learn from each other. However, we are careful not to break any patient confidentiality rules.

As a result if we present a case then it will always be fictional and not relating to any specific case or patient. For example if we present an (anonymised) X-ray or ECG we will create a clinical history that is compatible with the radiological/ECG findings but which does not relate to a specific time, location, patient or circumstance. Whilst it may be argued that this detracts from the clinical learning we believe that patient confidentiality is more important in these matters.

We will create time, date, age, sex, details of the patient and their circumstances etc. Our cases are therefore an amalgam of different cases and experiences. Any resemblance to patients treated by us now, in the past or the future is entirely unintentional and accidental. Our cases are presented to help us all reflect and learn, in that way we might become better clinicians for our patients.

Vive la FOAM! (Free Online Medical Education).


Simon Carley


Adapted from the excellent blog at by Tamara Hills

Cite this article as: Simon Carley, "Caveats and cautions," in St.Emlyn's, July 5, 2012,

Thanks so much for following. Viva la #FOAMed

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