What I learnt this week: Don’t just ‘hear’ a symptom and don’t just ‘see’ a sign #WILTW

This is the 64th #WILTW

Today I gave an induction lecture to our new doctors entitled:

“Risk Assessment and Communication: An audio-visual journey”

I’d spent the week mulling over the arc of my story  and was struggling to piece together the individual pieces of knowledge I wanted to share into a coherent narrative.

iPhone video

I have a long standing interest in the use of patient video cases for education. My belief (beginning to be backed up by research) is that video is not only useful for the learner to conceptualise signs they have read in text books but vital for educators to assess how learners are processing information. I am hoping to demonstrate that we can use patient video cases to aid our understanding of gut feeling or gestalt but for the moment it remains a powerful under- and post-graduate educational tool. Apart from the novelty of the medium what would inspire the audience to understand the value of video?

The breakthrough came when I concentrated on the audio-visual nature of my presentation. What am I demonstrating that another presentation couldn’t do? What will the learner see and hear that is unique?

It made me think about what I see and hear that my juniors may not. When I walk into a consultation room I do an observation check on both the child and the parent/carer. When I start listening to the history I am not just noting the key words but the way they are being said. When I spot an abnormal sign I check whether it is in isolation or in keeping with other features of illness. In this way I am using my senses in a parallel not in series.

My plan then to show the audience what they had been taught previously wasn’t wrong but history taking & examination can be so much more than hearing and seeing – it is truly listening and observing.

What have you learnt this week? #WILTW

Observation is a common theme in these blogs! Some related postings

It’s not what you say it is how you say it

What you see is maybe not what I see?

The importance of listening and language

One thought on “What I learnt this week: Don’t just ‘hear’ a symptom and don’t just ‘see’ a sign #WILTW”

Leave a Reply