The fact is that teachers do change lives. Good ones are able to really make a difference and most kids know which ones are better than others. In my case I had a teacher in the 6th grade that told … Continue reading
Being a teacher is one of the most important jobs there is in society. When you are a resident teacher for a medical school the quality of your teaching has an indirect impact on the lives of thousands. How well you teach medical undergraduates might well determine how good a physician they become in the future, and of course how many lives they can save.
It is not just the ‘body count’ that matters. Being a good doctor involves so much more than simply knowing your facts and applying the best treatment available at the time. Being a good doctor is a test for the psyche in so many ways. Along with technical proficiency and medical knowledge a good doctor needs a whole range of other skills that are difficult both to list and to teach. It is often these skills that I feel obliged to work on. This is because so much of the technical training these days is done in learning labs using computers. In many cases this is better because a computer never forgets a key point, whereas even the best medical teachers sometimes omit a crucial detail.
The most well known skill that I try to teach is good ‘bedside manner’. New doctors can sometimes be brusque, they can sometimes forget that the layman gets confused with medical terms, and they can often forget to reassure a patient. Science is still not able to explain why a positive mental outlook works wonders for people with illnesses. I don’t prescribe to ‘New Age’ theories of chakras, meditation etc. but these alternative approaches are important in that they empower the patient to help themselves. This is no bad thing, and it is something that I think all new doctors should consider carefully.
Secondly, there is mental toughness. At times doctors have to work incredibly long hours. They must maintain concentration and focus. I try to get my students to work out personal systems for dealing with the workload and pressure. We are all different and how we cope with stress also varies from person to person. I encourage my students to find ‘what works for them’.
Then there is triage. This is the notion of prioritizing to do the most good; the idea of finding the best way through a work pile. Triage can be incredibly difficult even with the best medical facilities and resources available. Sometimes it is a matter of instinct. What will have the greatest short term impact? Which patients have the most chance of survival?Finally, I also counsel students who feel the pressure of failure. It doesn’t help to tell a trainee doctor that they will make fatal mistakes. At the same time they must align their expectations to what is the ‘norm’. All doctors have to know their limits and accept their fallibility. As long as you learn from your mistakes you can usually be forgiven for making them. Dealing with the pressure of life and death is no easy business.
In a way being a resident medical teacher is just the same as being any other type of teacher. There are teaching strategies to master, theory to think about and new advances to keep abreast of. In the end, no two teachers do their job in exactly the same way. Theorists of teaching often forget this. They are so wrapped up in obscure jargonized learning that they fail to see the human element to teaching. Instead they argue among themselves.
This blog is for all teachers, not just medical teachers. Society places its hopes in us for we teach the up-coming generations the skills necessary to maintain society ? how to design bridges, how to do calculus, how to write a sonnet, how to piece together a credible narrative of the past. Even autodidacts use books as their teachers. I believe teachers are the bedrock of civilization. If our teachers fail to do their jobs properly we will slide back into the dark ages.
Considering the importance of the teaching profession, it seems a most worthy endeavor to collect view points about teaching in as many fields as possible. The articles contained herein aim to throw light on the teacher’s task whether it relates to explaining food nutrition, the benefits of travel, methods for stopping smoking. Whatever. Pedagogy relates to all human actions and relations.
There are many ways one can teach on the methods to quit smoking but it helps not only the teachers but also the students to be able to focus on just a few key methods at a time. If you … Continue reading
We talk a lot on this site about teaching people how to be doctor’s. As you might expect with such a diverse profession some people come into medical school needing to greatly work on their bedside manner, while others need … Continue reading
I’ve been studying the idea that cruelty is a learned behavior. When we are young, do we treat others badly by an innate desire to hurt them or is it something we learn as we grow older? Young children can … Continue reading
The internet has helped give many Universities across the world a breath of fresh air: The ability to learn 24 hours a day no matter where you are located. As learning management systems become more and more complex, the interaction in class … Continue reading
In Nicaragua for example, the problem of teachers not attending school is commonly seen throughout the country. The problem is far worse than in neighboring Costa Rica where school attendance by both teachers and students is much better. So what … Continue reading
While online instruction may have numerous benefits, a student receiving CNA training in an actual classroom may find this sort of instruction especially beneficial. Expert teaching is crucial to student achievement, and a teacher with the ability to convey enthusiasm, … Continue reading
Learning a variety of skills is incredibly important to further your ongoing education. One interesting aspect of ongoing education and learning new skills is exactly how much things have changed. A generation ago, you could have joined your father’s employer … Continue reading
The importance of understanding how credit and loan repayments work to our youth has become incresingly critical. Teachers can utilize free online financial tools such as the PaymentBot to aid in this education. One of the most common forms of … Continue reading
Whilst teaching can be an ultra challenging and frustrating job, it has many great benefits to it as well. Here is a brief rundown of some of the more positive aspects of teaching; Make a real difference in a … Continue reading
It’s important for students to learn at a young age the power of compound interest growth on their future savings. The InterestBot is a great free tool to help students visualize this important financial concept. Compound interest can make all … Continue reading
If you are a part time educator, then you realize how it may be hard for you to switch from your office work to class work and finally to family life. Nevertheless, today, there are many tools out there that … Continue reading
In some senses, it’s great to see how quickly children embrace the free spirited ideals of the internet. Information sharing via the web is second nature to most children, they communicate with a far wider circle of people than we … Continue reading
There are many people who keep arguing as to what cooking is all about, is it a science or an art? No matter and whatever your opinion, there is actually something that you can learn. However, there are many ways … Continue reading
One of the biggest complaints we hear from people these days who are trying to train new staff is that larger paychecks make training more difficult. With the cost of full time employees rising seemingly by the day, fewer businesses … Continue reading
One of the biggest debates around the world and especially in the UK is whether or not teachers should be paid more for the work that they do. It’s often said that a teacher’s salary is too low for the … Continue reading
The education minister in Northern Ireland is on a mission, he wants to raise levels of leadership and teaching skills in their schools. His name is John O’Dowd and he is planning to invest much stronger powers both legal and … Continue reading