It’s a beautiful day in Copenhagen and even better for being the first day of the teaching course aka #dasTTC. The St.Emlyn’s team has supported the TTC for several years now, teaching in the USA, South Africa, Australia and now in Europe. Whenever we join the faculty we always learn new stuff,espcially around the interface between traditional and innovative medical education, and I think this is what makes this course different. It’s always aimed to be at the cutting edge of how meded is changing in the social age. This means that the course is always a little different as the content flexes with how we see the world changing.
So what’s different about the TTC? For me it’s striking that the course involves a lot about ‘teaching and learning’ in a pragmatic and practical way. I’ve been on many teaching courses over the year that are a mixture of dull theoretical analysis and death by powerpoint. The TTC is different, lots of practical stuff, lots of interaction and lots of ‘Meta’, by which I mean that the faculty live and breathe the principles that we are teaching (and let each other know when they don’t).
So what have we learned on day 1?
- Icebreaking exercise: This is a three day course, but it aims to go beyond this. Past courses have led to great friendships and partnerships from the delegates, and this is something that needs to be nurtured. A way to facilitate this is to spend a little time on encouraging the group to get to know each other well right at the beginning of the course. Today we asked participants to design their own business card, to share that with a colleague and then to present that to the rest of the group. It took a little longer than most icebreakers, but it was worth it. This exercise demonstrated the breadth of skills in the room, opened up opportunities for collaboration and encouraged active listening and understanding amongst the trainees.
- Jesse Spurr explored the overlap between elite sports, resilience and training and medical education. Jesse challenges the concept of work life balance and rather asks how we integrate them healthily and with mutual support and respect. Looking at sport as a model he asks whether we can adopt the same principles from sport in MedEd? A focus on resilience, with encouragement to understand that we need to be prepared and organised to deal with difficult times. Jesse talked on how looking after yourself is an important part of being a clinician and also how we can support others to be healthy. Clearly there are many examples in the UK recently of the need to do this.
- prehabilitation (protect against injury)
- actualisation (coping with times of overload)
- rehabilitation (recovery and recuperation)
- Robert Lloyd talked on the emotive, physiological and psychological responses to incredible levels of stress in a South African emergency department. We’ve talked about SA EM here at St.Emlyn’s1 on my recent visit there, and also on Rob’s original and fantastic piece here2. You should also look at Rob’s series on the EMJ blog that offer a deep dive into his Mental Toughness Manifesto3. Check out Rob’s @ponderingEM blog too4. He made excellent use of video to induce fear and anxiety in the audience. Don’t watch this if you’re trying to relax. There are three components to Rob’s manifesto.
- Purposeful practice5
- Cognitive reframing6 and performance in incremental steps7
- Black Box thinking8
- In the afternoon George Willis emphasised the importance of pastoral care in the medical education we deliver. We discussed how taking conversations outside the clinical environment, and into the fresh air changes the character of those conversations and how it can reveal insights about learners, learning, relationships and wellbeing. He talked about his personal trigger to change his lifestyle towards wellness and challenged us to do the same for ourselves, as well as looking out for our learners who we know need our support. We finished up the ZenMed section with a little critical care dance.
- Natalie used a modifed Johari window technique to explore the hidden self. Basically this system asks you to identify key attributes you think describe yourself and then ask others to describe you back. It’s a really interesting and quite challenging exercise to see how we are seen differently by others. Details below on the link from Nat.
6. In the Social Media for Med Ed workshop in the afternoon, Julie, Salim and Sandra talked about the importance of branding and how that relates to organisations, medical education projects and also to ourselves. We all have to represent ourselves in the world and yet few people give it serious thought. It may feel uncomfortable but there is no doubt that it makes a difference to career progression in the social age. We’ve discussed a whole variety of different social media platforms and the strengths and weaknesses of each type. Interestingly, and I kind of agree, there was a feeling that twitter may be becoming less important as newer platforms such as Instagram and SnapChat gain traction with the Millenial generation.
7. Salim talked about how blogs and podcasts allow the modern educator (and researcher) to get a much wider reach for their content. Let’s face it, if you are putting so much effort into your education it’s great if you can share that as widely as possible. We discussed the importance of scheduling and co-ordinating the different social media platforms to maximise impact across a global audience.
8. Julie then spoke eloquently about the evolution of her Personal Learning Network, facilitated and supported through social media, and how it has refreshed and renewed her passion for medicine. Felix Ankel and Anand Swaminathan (Swami) wrote about Personal Learning Networks here at ICENet.
9. Finally, we voted for a logo designed by the delegates. A way of designing a new social media platform for medical education. Here’s the winning design with more to follow tomorrow on how to take that design further. It visually represents TTC.
Finally, we’ve posted some mini videos on the St.Emlyn’s Instagram account, and the podcast below if you want to hear us rambling on about the day. Let us know what you think. The day 1 report is here, day 2 here and day 3 here.
So, a fabulous first day with lots of learning. We’re off for dinner tonight to finalise plans for tomorrow.
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