Heartbreaking patient situations are the backbone of Emergency Medicine. Whether it’s a new cancer diagnosis, telling a family member that their loved one has died, or the creeping dread that a mistake that we’ve made will negatively impact one of our patients, we all experience extraordinary stress in our day-to-day clinical practice. Most clinicians are not tasked with routinely sharing news about the violent, unexpected, and horrific life-changing situations that occur in the emergency department, and yet we are given so few tools to help us manage this firehose of grief. This article is intended to share some of the best practices of grief management with clinicians who are immersed in grief, even if unawares.
Providing medical care for patients at the frontline can be physically demanding. Exercise is an important part of a routine that can help mitigate the physiologic stressors that come with providing care at the frontline, but in the setting of decreased time and space, providers may have difficulty developing new routines. We worked with a physiotherapist to create an exercise regimen for frontline providers that requires little space, little time, and can still help keep us healthy in the face of an ever more challenging work environment.
Healthcare workers on the frontlines during the COVID19 pandemic are likely to experience an increase in stress, fear and anxiety. In these challenging times it is especially important that we take stock of our mental health and practice managing our thoughts. Similar to other skills we learn in emergency medicine (EM) practice, mindfulness takes deliberate practice and repetition. A mantra can be one tool for creating mindfulness and focus. A mantra can serve as a solace to come back to when we feel overwhelmed, distracted, or exhausted. In this post, we will describe the practice of creating your own personal mantra.
Many companies have stepped up, eager to encourage and support those of us on the “front lines.” Here are some discounts and freebies that might help mitigate internal and external stressors that many are facing or will face as we enter a period of incredible uncertainty and fear.
Last week, more than 2000 medical students were matched into medicine. We welcomed you, and also offered some advice for how to manage the heavy workload of intern year. For the second part of our resident match day series we will transition our focus from work to life. Intern year is a hectic and stressful time. There are a lot of new things to consider. How will you get your family settled in a new city? What are the next four years going to look like financially? How do you make time for your loved ones and keep your hobbies alive?
Congratulations on matching into emergency medicine! We are glad to have you. The journey you are about to embark on will be equal parts grueling and rewarding. You will be pushed to your limits but you’ll see and do some amazing things along the way. Excelling at internship and residency and fulfilling your potential goes beyond taking good care of patients. You will be expected to thrive in work and life. In this 2-part blog series we will cover some basics for internship survival, including professional development, life logistics, and wellness. To begin, we will focus on work–from finding a mentor to managing your emails.
There are a number of personal attributes characterizing the professional identity of “physician.” We are dedicated to patients, committed to lifelong learning, and responsible for a variety of other professional obligations. Each requires physicians to be highly accountable – obligated or willing to accept responsibility for one’s actions. In this post we present examples of how we’ve adopted peer accountability as a strategy to help us with the myriad responsibilities and obligations at the heart of our profession. Just in time for the New Year – we challenge each of our readers to consider finding an “accountability partner” in 2020!