If Richard Branson was PGDME he might say……..

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A thought for all those preparing to welcome our new doctors in August. Train them so well that they want to stay here or come back as a consultant. It’s no small task and we are not an airline, but there is truth in those words. As DME it’s pretty clear to me that although there is clearly a link between workload and satisfaction there is a also a strong association between satisfaction and being valued. We need our trainees to feel part of a team, to feel valued and to feel they are learning here in a hospital with fantastic developmental opportunities.

One to think about in the last few weeks before the biggest induction of the year.

Look after your staff and they will look after your customers (patients)



Medical Educators Conference – for all involved in medical education

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Flyer Final

Following the success of our conference back in April this year, we are pleased to announce we will be running another similar event in November.

We want to get as many people as possible involved in medical education by showcasing the superb work done in the Trust. We also want to offer high quality, local, approved training to clinical and educational supervisors who do so much to support undergraduate and postgraduate education in the trust.

The Trust’s second Medical Educators’ Conference will be held on Friday 7th November 2014 . This event is for clinical and educational supervisors of postgraduate and undergraduate medical trainees.

The conference is designed to support educators’ continuing professional development, keep educators abreast of changes in medical education and facilitate peer support and networking amongst educators and the Postgraduate Medical Education Team. The event will allow educators to fulfill appraisal requirements and meet the GMC standard for approved trainer status. For existing supervisors, this will count as sufficient activity to keep their GMC approved trainer status in the current year.
There will be speakers from the Postgraduate Medical Education Team, as well the North Western Deanery and the Manchester Medical School amongst others. Interactive workshops will include topics such as managing doctors in difficulty, giving effective feedback and undergraduate tutor training.
Click the Medical Educators’ Conference Flyer here for more information:

Flyer Final

If you came to our conference in April, this one has much the same content so it would be great to see new faces in November.

Places are free but are limited and are filling up fast. To book your place, please contact Jenny Black, Quality Assurance Officer, at [email protected], or by phone on 0161 901 0738

President of RCS(Ed) to inaugurate Surgical Grand Round at CMFT

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Mr Ian Ritchie
Mr Ian Ritchie

The Division of Surgery Educational Committee is organising a division wide surgical grand Round meeting which will be open to all members of the multidisciplinary teams in the division. This will include all cadres of surgical and nursing staffs, Anaesthetists, & medical students.

We expect this educational meeting to create a forum for surgical staffs to discuss issues of common interests, celebrate local surgical innovations, create opportunities for trainees to learn & develop their presentation skills, and to enhance exchange of information about good practice in the division.

The President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Mr Ian Ritchie has kindly accepted our invitation to attend as Guest speaker at the inaugural meeting holding on Thursday 10 April @12:30 – 1:30pm at the Postgraduate Lecture Theatre, MRI.

We would love to see a great turn out for this first meeting and so we ask you to keep the date and watch out for more information soon.

If you want to know more now then please get in touch with Mr Tunde Campbell, divisional lead for education in surgery. Tunde has done sterling work in promoting postgraduate education in the division and in putting this meeting together and with such an auspicious first lecturer it looks as though this meeting will go from strength to strength so please give the team, Mr Ritchie and postgrad education in surgery your full support in April.




Shape of Training released. What are the implications?

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Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 14.52.00A really important release this week on how we might see specialist, generalist and primary care training change in future years.

If you are involved in UG or PG then this is essential reading….for example…..

  • 1. Registration to take place at the end of med school (not at the end of F1)
  • 2. More flexible training times with longer placements.
  • 3. Broad based speciality training as opposed to early super-specialisation

Anyway, you really need to read this and consider how things might change in your area of practice. You can find the full document here.


and if you’d prefer there is a video explaining the rationale here.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts like Damian’s here…


SimWars World Championship

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IMG_8924 2Not a lot of people know this, but 75% of the self proclaimed SimWars champions of the world are here at CMFT.

WARNING – slight conflict of interest coming up.

What is SimWars?

SimWars was invented in the US as the antidote to ‘touchy-feely’ feedback in resuscitation education. The basic premise is that teams of clinicians are tasked to perform a live simulated resuscitation in front of an audience. Each team is scored against clinical care, team working, leadership and overall performance.

This is resuscitation with competition. It’s performed live, in front of an audience of peers and in some cases with the world watching. Unsurprisingly it originated in America and you can hear a little bit more about it in the video below.

Sim Wars from Ernest Wang on Vimeo.

What’s the point?

You may well ask! This is not just about education, it’s not just about entertainment, it’s a combination or ‘Medutainment’ if you like inventing words. SimWars is about making learning fun and challenging. Sure, it’s not going to replace formal educational events, but every so often teams might just want to let their hair down and engage in a bit of friendly competition.

So tell me about the SimWars champion stuff then.

OK. In March 2013 a team of 4 emergency physicians travelled from the UK to Sydney Australia for the Social Media and Critical Care Conference (SMACC). This brought together experts in resuscitation from around the world to talk, share and blog about training and education in critical care/emergency medicine. Simon Carley, Natalie May and Alan Grayson are currently here at CMFT with the fourth member of the team being Iain Beardsell who is based in Southampton.

The Australians took the competition to a whole new level with teams required to submit ‘entertaining’ entry videos that highlighted a key component of resuscitation skill or teamwork such as this amazing video from Sydney HEMS who had I had the pleasure to fly within 2013. Be warned – this has a rude word in it and may upset anesthesiologists….

Natalie, Chris (SMACC convenor) and Iain
Natalie, Chris Nickson (SMACC convenor) and Iain

The teams performed live in front of an audience of 600 people at the Sydney Conference Centre, with the whole event being screened live to thousands around the world. This was a little stressful to be honest, but despite this the team used the power of the internet and #FOAMed to resuscitate and save the patient who had suffered a snake bite to a part of the anatomy that we cannot mention here………(remember that this was Australia).

The patient's wife unexpectedly presented an extra problem
The team in action at SMACC 2013
The patient’s wife chose to bring the snake to the resuscitation area – we do not recommend this….!

Clearly we were delighted to win the audience vote and just like the England cricket team of late we came away with the spoils of victory.

So would SimWars work in England and at CMFT?

Well, it’s been tried in London with great success for Emergency Medicine trainees there, so yes, but I also wonder if this is something that we could do here at CMFT? Would there be interest from departments across the trust in putting forward a team for a hospital wide SimWars at some point in 2014? We have the kit, we have a team of trainers and we have some fantastic resuscitationists so the elements are here, but only if there is enthusiasm for standing up in front of colleagues and showing us what you’re made of. We have a simulator up and running in the ED and there are many others around the trust, at undergraduate level all our 5th year students will be receiving simulation training this year so I’m confident that there should be some willing teams out there…., but are there?

It would certainly spice up a grand round or local educator conference….., so I’m really interested to hear what you think.

And what about a return?

Well, it’s next year to be honest. The team is returning to the Gold Coast of Australia in March 2014 at SMACC Gold to defend the title and we are expecting a tough time as the Australians aim to take the trophy back. This year we hear of teams from the USA, Ireland and Europe so the competition will be of an even higher standard than in 2013. We look to the England cricket team can set the standard by retaining the Ashes this winter,  but even if they don’t we aim to do England proud down under.

Should we theme supervision and supervisors? CMFT

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A short story about our attempts at making life easier for Dr X…..

Dr X has been a clinical supervisor for many years…., more than he cares to remember to be honest and he’s pretty good at it. The trainees like him and he likes the trainees, he’s had a few awards for teaching and he is secretly rather proud of this. In summary he really enjoys teaching and interacting with trainees, loves sharing what he has learned and especially enjoys teaching at the bedside with real patients. This is how Dr X grew up as a doctor and he does it well, but in recent years some aspects of teaching have become burdensome….

In the old days trainees came and went, and sure if there was a problem with one of them Dr X would not sign them off at the end of the rotation and/or have words with the hospital dean, but lately this holistic approach has been replaced by the introduction of the portfolio system, a series of meetings, assessments, checks, balances and development plans that each trainee is required to complete. It’s a significant task for trainee and trainer alike, and while Dr X knows that this is something we are all having to get used to there is one issue that really irritates him…


It’s a good question to be honest, but they are. They all reflect how their particular college and the GMC like to set things out and although there has been a call for more standardisation it seems that we are some way off this. In practice this means that in a speciality such as medicine a department may have a whole range of different trainee types, all with their own particular ‘package’ aimed at supporting their learning and supervision.

As a trainer this can become really confusing as the requirements of junior docs in the same workspace may be very different. A doc working towards GPVTS has different learning needs and a very different portfolio that of a doctor on the same rota embarking on a career in general medicine. The e-portfolios are quite different. They have different logins, passwords, different tutors and different curricula and assessment modes. It’s just too much to keep track of and it leads to poor quality supervision and the possibility of ARCP failure for the trainee.

So, whilst Dr X would like all these e-portfolios to disappear (not going to happen), how can we make life easier for him and the many other consultants in the same position?


In my opinion it is now almost impossible to maintain a good working knowledge of more than one type of trainee portfolio. Some consultants can, but I find it tricky to really understand the detail and specific  requirements needed for all the grades and types of staff we get in a place like the ED for example. So, we have moved to the idea of thematic supervision where consultants oversee a group of trainees at the same level/type.

For example, GPVTS trainees on their EM rotation are supervised by me. I’m now much more familiar with their training needs, the GPVTS e-portfolio and the assessments that they need. It has also allowed me to develop contacts with GP trainers in the community. My colleagues in the ED do the same, with themes for foundation, CT1-2, ACCS, SpR, Clinical Fellows etc. so that we all develop expertise and familiarity with our group. We do this for a few years and then have the option to move to a different group (for variety).

This is such an easy thing to do, yet it has a real effect on the quality of educational supervision.

So what of Dr X?

We really want him to continue. We really want him to train all the doctors on the ward, that’s his clinical supervisor role and we are delighted that he will continue. We also know that in his educational supervisor role we need him to reduce any unnecessary repetition and to develop expertise in a group of docs so that he does not have to learn an entirely new portfolio system every 4 months. So Dr X has agreed to look after 3 of the foundation docs on the firm as an Educational Supervisor. He is becoming proficient in the use of HORUS (the e-portfolio for foundation) and is on first name terms with the foundation team.

There is still paperwork, and the process is a bit more onerous than it used to be….., but with thematic supervision it’s at least a little easier, and the trainees do seem to like it when he spends the first 30 minutes of their meetings talking to them rather than trying a series of passwords whilst trying to log on to one of 7 different portfolio systems….


Simon Carley

Consultant in Emergency Medicine

NB: Dr X is largely based on me and my past efforts at juggling different trainees on different rotations at different times of the year. Life is so much better now that I just look after the GPVTS docs. I might rotate to a different group in a few years, but for now this is SO much better than it was.

Consultant Job opportunities in Postgrad education.

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If you’ve signed up to the blog, or if you are just visiting from within the trust it’s probably because you have an interest in medical education. We think that’s fantastic as we do too and we want to get more people involved in formal education posts in the trust.

This week we are advertising a number of new posts in PGME that will give us a better structure to deliver training to the junior doctors of the future.

We are really interested to bring new and enthusiastic consultants into the PGME team to lead in areas such as educator development, foundation doctor roles, quality management and doctors in difficulty. This represents a fantastic opportunity for any consultant interested in medical education to expand and develop themselves over the next 1-3 years. In brief we are looking for the following roles.

  • 1. Foundation Program Director – this role oversees the foundation program across the trust. A fantastic job (my old job in fact) and one that is incredibly rewarding (2PAs).
  • 2. Associate Foundation Program Directors – these roles will focus on either F1 or F2 to ensure the quality of training and the support of our most junior doctors (1PA each).
  • 3. Associate Directors of PGME – these are entirely new posts that will oversee 2-3 hospitals within the trust, supervising divisional leads whilst taking on trust wide responsibilities in support of the Director of PGME (currently myself). This is a really exciting role that will require a degree of innovation and independence (1PA each).

The astute amongst you will recognise similarities between this organisational model and that of the deanery, and this is intentional. CMFT is a major teaching and training provider and we need a structure and a workforce to deliver it.

Is this just for those already in educational roles?

Absolutely not. I started as FPD having simply been an enthusiastic consultant in EM. It has changed my career and allowed me to develop personally and professionally in a way that I could not have imagined at the time. We are absolutely committed to developing consultants into these roles and will support all successful applicants.

So, if you are interested in education, if you are looking for a challenge and if you want to develop your personal skills with the support of the trust and the PGME department get in touch and ask more. The job adverts should be arriving in your email box anytime now but there is no substitute for a conversation by phone or face to face. You know where to find us, and we hope to hear from you soon.

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