A&E staff are being encouraged to share career challenging cases so colleagues can learn from their passed-on experience.
My Most Memorable Case is the idea of Dr Phoebe Jane who describes the fortnightly sessions as a ‘funky hybrid of case based teaching and Schwartz rounds.’
Phoebe, who is also a Clinical Leadership Fellow, realized that a lot of the anecdotes and stories she heard as a junior doctor could be as educational as they were entertaining if presented in a more formal setting.
Phoebe said: “I think senior colleagues being candid about professional challenges and sharing those experiences is reassuring for junior doctors. The emphasis is as much about how they responded emotionally as they did clinically.
Doctors learn to manage things through practice, but some cases are once in a professional lifetime. Only someone who has faced something similar can prepare you for when your time comes.”
One of the first speakers was A&E consultant Miriam Harris who talked about a case earlier in her career when she evacuated a sick child from the Australian Outback.
Igor Vertkin, a psychology expert from Ealing IAPT, attends the sessions, helping participants reframe situations in a new perspective.
Phoebe's also recounted her experience during the pandemic when one long-term covid patient she had been caring for was discharged, while another passed away later the same day.
Phoebe said: "That day was memorable for its worst moments. But with my colleagues and Igor, we discussed how bad experiences stick in the memory more than good ones. Teaching this case taught me you can acknowledge the joyful and sad moments without them cancelling out."
Phoebe added: “We’re keen for nurses as well as doctors to teach their experiences at half of the fortnightly sessions.”