Well that was an incredible start to 2021….. This week has been a dream come true for us as we went LIVE and finally got to meet some of you.
We did our first live tutorial with Prof Vishy, on Zoom last Thursday. We kicked off with the sound track ‘Let’s Go’ by Usher and Calvin Harris, and after the typical technical issues , (which some of you were able to help us resolve – thank you!) Prof Vishy delivered a phenomenal lecture on the Mediastinum. It was great to see him back in his tie and braces and once we got the first slide working – he was off and on a roll. I was reminded of what a fantastic teacher he is and how he can make the most complex of areas, so easy to understand.
Today I did our first Live YouTube and Instagram ‘Anatomy Clinic’ where I answered some of the questions that had been asked by students earlier this week. This is a totally new format for on-line teaching and it was great to...
In 2015, I found myself in a really difficult place as I was emotionally lost. After spending over 20 years working hard to achieve my goal of becoming a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at one of the top orthopaedic hospitals in the world, which I thought would be a job for life, things did not work out that well. The job had both clinical and academic components, and there were several roles that I was expected to fulfil. This meant that I was stretched between research, teaching and clinical commitments. The intradepartmental politics in both the clinical and the academic institutions were intense.
My twin daughters were born during this time and the stress I was experiencing at trying to do the best I could at work was affecting my family life. It just was not fair on my daughters to have a mum who was tired, irritable and absent even when I was in the room with them.
Something had to give.
After several months of tossing it backwards and forwards in my mind I...
When I went to medical school I was excited but I was also anxious about many things such as
– Would I like it?
- Would I make any friends?
- Would I find it to difficult?
- Is this the right course for me?
Sometimes those feelings were overwhelming. I found studying anatomy particularly hard as there were hundreds of new words and structures to learn and remember. And this was during the ‘good times’ when I could meet other students and go into class for lectures for support.
I can only imagine how much harder it must be to study during COVID, where in some countries, social distancing and lock down restrictions are still in place. A lot of universities have had to restrict their teaching facilities due to COVID and for a lot of students this means distance learning. That can be lonely and demoralising. Keeping a check of your mental health is so important and over the next year I will be writing a lot more about that.
But in this blog and accompanying video, I...
‘Strong as an ox and half as smart’ was a classic line that was used by medical professionals to describe orthopaedic surgeons. When I went to medical school there was a generalised attitude that orthopaedic surgeons had to be very strong to operate on bones, but that they were not that clever. They were also not considered to be that sensitive to emotions and feelings, and that in some way talking about this was ‘weak’. Incidentally that does not mean that they didn't care, but just that it would be considered strange for them to share their own feelings.
When I started training, the typical image of an orthopaedic surgeon would be a big, tall, well-built man, who went to the ‘correct school’, played rugby, talked loudly (often about themselves), laughed even louder, drank copious amounts of beer, and wore beige chinos and a blue blazer with brass buttons. Please be reassured that if you happen to fit this description, I do not have...
Did you know that sometimes you sabotage your chances of success in developing a new habit before you have even started it?
But did you also realise that you can accelerate your chances of reaching your goals by making some simple small changes?
The environment you create for yourself can make all the difference between success and failure.
Let me give you an example. If you are trying to lose weight, but every day you have a habit of buying a cake or doughnut on your way home, this will not help you lose weight. You know that you need to stop buying that doughnut because you are not stupid. But if you keep passing that same shop on the way home, your brain will automatically send you signals as you near the shop that you need to go in the shop and you need to buy a snack because it will taste sooo good and make you feel sooo much better – which to be fair it does… for a minute or two, but then you spend the next hour beating yourself up about giving in to...
Start a Habit
A habit is a behaviour that you have repeated so many times that it becomes automatic.
Habits can be actions such as brushing your teeth. There are several complex steps involved in this activity that you probably have not thought about in several years. In order to brush your teeth, you need a toothbrush and you need toothpaste. You then apply the toothpaste to the toothbrush and then you need to put the brush on your teeth and move your hand up and down so that the toothbrush actually cleans your teeth. This is an action that you have repeated so many times that you do not even need to think about each individual step, your brain knows what to do and it just happens automatically. (which is probably a good thing because if you are anything like me, you will still be half asleep when you brush your teeth )
But habits can also be thoughts. For example the decision to brush your teeth in the first place is not one you think about – you just do it...