Now that I have started residency, I have also invested into an UpToDate subscription. This online clinical resource logs the time you spend researching and reading different topics. In less than three months’ time, I have already amassed 42 continuing medical education credits.
A single credit is the equivalent of an hour of additional reading.
In essence, I am averaging roughly 12 hours of reading every month on UpToDate. This is in addition to some other bits of reading I do here and there on guidelines, position statements, and textbooks.
However, it just goes to show that a little bit every day goes a long way.
In the 1970s, Noel Burch described four stages of learning any new skill and it could be summarized as follows:
Everyone strives for unconscious competence. The mastery of a skill has become so complete that you can do it effortlessly. The scariest state to be in is the first stage. “You do not know what you do not know.” That can be a terrible position to be in, especially when a patient’s life is on the line.
That is why receiving feedback is so important. That is why we train for so many years, under the watchful eye of so many experts to be a master of the craft. Sometimes, in order to make that transition to the next step of our competency, it requires someone else to point out where we need help.
I expect I will not be posting very much over the course of the coming week as the MCCQE part 1 is fast approaching. I thank you all for your patience and understanding.
I hope to see you all on the other side.
Tom of the Medical State of Mind
…the fire alarm must go off.
If you find yourself wanting to do a group study session but want to bring some excitement and competition to the table, why not set up a game night for your friends?
For academic medical students, try a hand at adapting Jeopardy. It takes some time to build up enough cards and factoids to make a late night session worthwhile. Do it in teams or fly solo. Can you answer fast enough?
For clinical medical students, adapt a game of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Put yourself in the hot seat in the audience of your friends and try to rank up in a certain topic. Find help with the 50/50 option, poll your audience, or call a friend (e.g. a dermatology resident for a skin lesion question). Rewards can range from free meals to switching prized call shifts to just good old fashion prestige.
Have you ever played a study game? Share your ideas below.