Rural doctors in Australia are the 'swiss army knives' of medicine - trained not just in primary care, but also emergency medicine, obstetrics and anaesthetics. Any talk on rural medicine usually covers heroic tales - emergency surgical airways, Burr holes in the bush, walking blood bank donors for PPH....all the stuff we talk about in FOAMed and SoMe circles...and this is what I thought I would talk about at #smaccUS - a conference of 2500 critical care clinicians in Chicago, to which I'd been invited to speak in the "You're On Your Own" concurrent session
But instead I flipped the title "All Alone" - this talk peels back the notion of the rural doctor as SuperMan/SuperWoman - and instead talks honestly about clinician vulnerability, depression & burnout from a personal perspective.
But it's not all doom and gloom - from such vulnerability over medical error or administrative frustration comes emotions such as guilt...and this can spur us into action. My guilt over a medical mistake set me on a path to excellence via FOAMed...moreover, the connectivity of the social media world of FOAMed has helped me develop emotional resilience as well as the oft-talked about cognitive resilience in critical care. I illustrate with a few examples.
Make no mistake - the heroes are our patients. So - join me in exposing the vulnerable side of critical care....