Posted by on September 22, 2015 | 0 comments

What To Do When You Can’t Blame Anyone

Sometimes even the best laid plans fall apart. Deadlines get missed, mistakes are made, clients are disappointed. It happens to all of us at some point. The easy – though cowardly – response when the you-know-what hits the fan is to try to shift the blame onto someone else – the supplier, the on-duty nurse, the plumber… there’s no end to the people we can find to point an accusing finger at. But blame is a losing game for everyone concerned. Here’s what to do instead: Take responsibility. Ask yourself: “What part did I play in what happened?” Don’t blame yourself; it’s just as fruitless as blaming someone else. Be honest about what happened and what went wrong. Look for the lessons in the mess. Make amends where possible. Ask yourself: “What is the opportunity here?” You’ll be surprised at how many apparent blunders are actually blessings in disguise. Refine your game plan to minimise the chance of things going wrong next time. Share...

Read More

Posted by on September 16, 2015 | 0 comments

Letter to Junior Doctors #10: Life-saving Questions

If you’ve been through the rigour of medical training you no doubt know a particular brand of life-saving questions. These are the questions you are required to ask patients as part of the history taking process, and they will guide your examination, special investigations and your treatment plan. There is another group of questions that every doctor should ask, but these you are unlikely to have been told about at medical school. They are the questions you need to be asking yourself on a regular basis – questions that could save your life some day. Here they are: What did I do well today? What can I do differently next time? What can I forgive myself for? How can I take care of myself so that I can be of service to others? What am I grateful for today? I’m not exaggerating when I say that these questions are potentially life saving. Research has shown that doctors are more at risk of suicide than the general population, with female...

Read More

Posted by on September 8, 2015 | 2 comments

The Best Book I Never Read

I’m not a morning person. Never have been. I’ve always felt particularly sorry for people who lament the fact that their children wake them up at dawn, even on weekends. I figure they must have done something really bad in a previous life to deserve that kind of torture. So imagine my curiosity when an Amazon recommendation came into my Inbox for a book titled “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. The book promised to transform my relationship with mornings and to have me waking up earlier with a spring in my step. Naturally my first thought was “no way”, but a tiny voice inside was also a little curious. What if I could turn into a morning person, or get loads of stuff done and increase the length of my working day? What if this book really is the real deal, as the hundreds of 5-star reviews it has received seemed to suggest. I bought it. It was more out of curiosity than anything else. I flicked through...

Read More

Posted by on September 1, 2015 | 2 comments

Letter to Junior Doctors #9: You’re A Hero

  The American scholar and mythologist, Joseph Campbell, described the Hero’s Journey as the common narrative which plays itself out in all stories, across all cultures, in every part of the world. It is depicted in both ancient myths as well as modern day adventures. It is the story of the hero who is called to a particular task. It’s a mighty task, one which the hero initially refuses. However the call gets louder until our hero has no choice but to answer it, and in doing so embarks on a transformative adventure. Along the way there are trials and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. However, in equal measure are wise guides and mentors who help the hero on his journey. Ultimately the battle is won, and the hero returns with wisdom and treasure to offer his community. The doctor’s journey can be likened to Campbell’s monomyth. Those early days are a baptism of fire, and we can sometimes wonder why we chose to do this in the first place. But,...

Read More