Saturday, January 11, 2020

Tips of the day on consultation skills

We often listen to judge, respond and take action, but sometimes, it is very important to listen to simply perceive and understand, especially in the primary care setting where we are dealing with highly undifferentiated problems. If we listen to respond rather than to understand, it may lead us down the wrong path, and possibly lose our rapport with our patients too. Not easy but certainly a skill we can better master. 

Friday, January 10, 2020

My tips for Doctors who are about to sit their OSCE exams

MINDSET... get it right.

1 Wear your normal clinic clothes to be in the “same clinical mindset”. Bring your own tools including stethoscope.  (Was told that only stethoscope is allowed now so check).  Note.... Watches are not allowed.

2 You are NOT an exam candidate.

You ARE the Doctor and in front of you are sometimes difficult patients and not difficult examiners. Stay in the role.

3 The day will be easier than your normal clinic day because everything will run on time. There will be no fit ins. No emergency cases. No phone calls. So it’s easier than your normal day.

4 Use your 3mins well. Have a structure. Remember what is asked of you ie management, examination, short case or long case.

5 When stuck, stay in the role and do a bit of summary to get you back to the rhythm.

“So I am a bit confused can you clarify that for me  again”.

Have some “lifelines” phrases to use rather than simply freeze.

If you don’t know... maybe consider “I don’t know about that but I will find out. Also, it’s important in medicine that when we don’t know something, it’s important to know what is not. And I don’t think it is this, this and this.” And roll from there.

6 and as my teacher always use to say, remember to take your brain with you.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Short video on how to educate our patients about Primary Emotion vs Secondary Emotion

As a family Doctor, it is not uncommon for me to see folks with anger issues, and this can have a significant impact on their relationship with their families, partner, spouse, children, friends, and the people they work with. It is important to understand that underlying anger, we may find fear and anxiety, and underlying anxiety, we may find loneliness and disconnection. Loneliness or disconnection is the primary emotion. Anger is on the surface. Once we can address the disconnection at the primary level, then it may lead to less fear and anxiety, and then less anger. So the main message here is to acknowledge and fix the problem of anger at the core rather on the surface level. Understanding primary, secondary and tertiary emotion is a very important part of emotional literacy, which will help one to process emotion, and to better manage one's relationship with others.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Short video on getting the mindset right for the OSCE GP Exam

In order to succeed in something, one must not only have the skills and knowledge, one must also have right mindset to apply those skills and knowledge to a particular situation. In this short video, we discussed the right mindset to adopt when you are doing your OSCE FRACGP exam.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Short video on how to help our patients who have fallen into the "Perfectionist Trap"

As a Family Doctor, I see many patients with stress as part of their overall health issues. The ones most vulnerable are the folks who have these 3 characteristics from my observation over the last 21 years of my clinical practice. They often.... 1 Have a perfectionistic nature with very, very high standards. 2 They are often very self critical rather than self reflective. (Please watch my other video on the difference between self reflective and self critical 3 They often have a fear of failure. This is a short video for raising awareness on this important issue and a chance for me to share some simples tips on how to improve this. TIPS: 1 Embrace your perfectionism and high standards BUT 2 Be self kind, self compassionate, self reflective rather than self critical 3 Approach life's failures like playing Angry Birds. The more we fail, the more we learn, and the better we get.

These are important tips for ourselves as well in the context of self care. The better our health is, the more effective we are at looking after others.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Short video on my incidental YouTubing journey on how to improve emotional literacy for ourselves as Doctors, and for our patients

As a Family Doctors, I teach a lot of our patients about incidental exercise and incidental mindfulness. Incidental exercise is where we incorporate what we do everyday including chores as a form of exercise. When we park our cars, we can park the car further away so that we can increase our walking as exercise. When we do home chores or gardening, we frame it as a form of exercise. It is practical and pragmatic. It reduces barriers to take action. As I love to share ideas around emotional literacy and emotional processing to improve people's mental health and wellbeing, I have decided to trial incidental YouTubing and incorporate it into my work life. It will make it more practical and achievable. Let's see how that goes........

Friday, December 27, 2019

Short video on psychoeducation for our patients around self esteem, self worth and significance

Poor self esteem can have a significant impact on one's emotional, social, and physical health, so knowing more about it can be advantageous. Many may not have the emotional literacy to know how they measure their self esteem, and how they can change that perhaps. We will explore in this video on how to be more aware, and how we can adopt newer and more helpful ways of measuring one's sense of self worth or significance.

If we as Doctors, can help our patients to improve their self worth, and shift their thinking from "I am not good enough" to "I am enough", then their mental health will improve significantly in my opinion.

This very thing may help us as "Healthcare Providers" as well, is my hope.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Short video on a common presentation...."Doctor, I am worried about my child's behaviours. Can you help?"

It is very common in General Practice/Primary Care to see parents who are concerned about their children's mood and behaviours. This can cause a lot of stress for the family. In this video, I have outlined a simple approach on how to assess these sort of problems, and discussed a simple framework on how we can assess and find ways to help these families and their children. I often describe it as the "What, Why, and How to improve" approach.