Date: March 6, 2024

This is an SGEM Xtra created from a lecture I gave for the Rural Ontario Medical Program (ROMP) ICE Camp Retreat in Collingwood, Ontario last month. ROMP helps Ontario medical students & residents arrange core & elective rotations in rural Ontario. An old friend, Dr. Matt De Stefano invited me to give a lecture to the PGY-3 Emergency Medicine Residents. Matt said it could be a talk on anything so I decided to create a new presentation called “A Philosophy of Emergency Medicine”

This lecture was inspired by the wonderful Professor Melanie Trecek-King. She is a science educator from the USA and has an amazing website called Thinking is Power. I bought a T-shirt from Melanie that says “Be curious, be skeptical and be humble”. Such great wisdom from an amazing science communicator.

For the presentation at ROMP, I made a friendly amendment to Melanie’s three items substituting that last piece of advice “Be Humble” (which is very important) with “Be Teachable” for the audience of PGY3 Emergency Medicine Residents.

If you are interested in seeing all the slides they can be downloaded from this LINK or you can watch the episode on YouTube.

Be Curious: The lecture started not with a 1980s cultural reference but rather with a recent cultural reference from the TV show Ted Lasso. Be Curious, not judgmental.

This was a great show for a variety of reasons and we are planning to do a special SGEM Xtra episode on how the lessons we learned from Ted Lasso made us better. 

Be Skeptical: This is the second important part of my EM philosophy. Carl Sagan is arguably one of the most famous skeptics ever. He in part inspired this knowledge translation project called the Skeptics’ Guide to Emergency Medicine. Probably one of his most famous quotes was that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”

Be Teachable: The third philosophical point I wanted to make about Emergency Medicine was to encourage you to Be Teachable. This does not just apply to when you are a resident but also when you become an attending physician. You will not always be right.

Be Kind: One more super important thing that you should consider as part of your EM philosophy is to be kind. It is something I learned from Dr. Brian Goldman. Brian is the host of the amazing CBC show White Coat Black Art and has authored several great books. One of the best books he wrote was called The Power of Kindness – Why Empathy is Essential in Everyday Life.

The SGEM will be back next episode doing a structured critical appraisal of a recent publication. Trying to cut the knowledge translation window down from over ten years to less than one year using the power of social media. So, patients get the best care, based on the best evidence.

If you would like a copy of all the slides used in this presentation simply click on the LINK and you can see all the slides on YouTube.

Remember to be skeptical of anything you learn, even if you heard it on the Skeptics’ Guide to Emergency Medicine.