I’m sat listening to Martin Rutter chairing a session entitled ‘Knowledge is Power’. The topic is diabetes with contributions from diabetes, radiology and surgical colleagues. I could not agree more with Martin, as clinicians it’s vital that we keep learning, keep questioning and keep sharing our knowledge.
Knowledge is power.
In a trust like CMFT we have some amazing clinicians with regional, national and international reputations but the nature of our work in such specialised units means that we don’t have as many opportunities to share learning as we might hope.
An exception to this is the medical grand round that takes place every Wednesday in the postgrad centre (though confusingly it was in undergrad today). It’s an opportunity for a range of clinicians from all specialities and all grades to come together and learn. This week we have a multifaceted presentation from the diabetes team encompassing medical, surgical and radiological presentations. Last week we heard an equally excellent presentation on the use and complications of new drugs of abuse such as PMA. Both these are excellent, interesting and relevant to a range of clinicians across the trust, but like most weeks I am surprised and in all honesty a bit disappointed at the turn out. I think there’s probably about 50 people here from a workforce of hundreds if not thousands of junior doctors, consultants and nursing clinicians.
So why the low turn out and what can we do to increase attendance?
- Remind colleagues that they can attend. You don’t need to be a physician to come along. The meeting is open to medical students, nurses, doctors in all specialities and at all grades.
- Encourage your juniors to attend. Grand round is all about teaching and learning, if you are a clinical supervisor then please encourage your juniors to attend and even better, let them bring you along too.
- Come along to something new. An observation I’ve made is that attendance is often boosted by members of the presenters team coming along. Clearly such support from colleagues is great, but it does not expand your learning horizons. I love the ED sessions (obviously) but those are probably the ones from which I learn the least, rather it is presentations from other teams that alert me to new and interesting knowledge and skills. So, come along to grand round when others are presenting and not just your own team.
- Use your attendance as evidence of CPD for appraisal and ARCPs. Simply put all educational activities can contribute to your portfolio. It’s an opportunity for an externally validated activity, it’s free and you might learn something.Network. As a big hospital we don’t bump into people in the way that we once did. Teams can get isolated from each other and lose touch. Grand Round is a great way to informally meet and talk about clinical or management issues, and from a trainee perspective it can be an opportunity to discuss careers and training opportunities.
- Other commitments. We are all busy people and it can feel difficult to justify time off the wards to attend. I do understand that for some of the time, but as DME I believe that it’s vital that we protect and support education across the trust. Whilst it may be difficult to attend every week try and make the effort.
- Suggest something different. Perhaps Grand Rounds have had their day. In a world of just in time technology, smart phones, blogs, apps and other digital media is there a better way of getting diverse clinicians together to learn and share experiences. If you think there is then we’d love to hear from you.
This week started with Martin Rutter telling us that ‘Knowledge is Power’. He’s right of course, and the knowledge gained at Grand Round is free, open access, up to date and relevant. It’s not getting accessed though…..so what can we do?
Will we see you next week, or are you going to suggest something different to resuscitate and recover this venerable teaching institution?