Teaching on a clinical shift can sometimes be difficult: it’s busy, everyone’s running around and it’s hard to capture a trainees attention. Recently, on twitter, Amal Mattu (@amalmattu) has been posting pictures of his white board teaching: discrete pearls written down and shared with anyone who walks by. The pearls are often prompted by patients presenting during that shift but they don’t have to be. It’s an excellent pro approach to clinical teaching shared by a master. One of the limitations that was pointed out, though, was that many of us no longer have white boards in the department. Enter master educators Michelle Lin (@M_Lin) and Rob Cooney (@EMEducation) who started using post-it notes to the same effect. There are a number of advantages to the post it as well:
- Works anywhere. All you need is a pocket full of post-it notes
- Can be left behind to spark conversation and teaching long after you’re gone
- Size mandates that only short, quick teaching points are used (pair with a Sharpie marker to enhance this aspect)
Over the weekend, I worked a string of nights and decided to try out the post-it pearls for myself. My residents loved it and it definitely sparked conversation which can be particularly difficult in the middle of a Sunday overnight shift. To enhance the educational value, I recommend having the residents take a picture of the post-its so they can review the teaching points later and send additional questions your way.
Below are some of the post-it pearls from the weekend. We’ll try to share these on a regular basis in this space. If you’ve got good ones, send them to us and we’ll share yours as well (email@example.com or tweet them to us @Core_EM)