Quick rant/ advice: call yourself a STUDENT DOCTOR…not a
medical student. Apparently, when you say ‘medical student’, people don’t actually understand that you are learning to become a DOCTOR. They just think that you are some A-level biology/chemistry student. So always tell people that you’re a medical student STUDENT DOCTOR…patients will react better to you (^.^).
ANYWAYS getting to the main point of this post:
In my time as a
medical student STUDENT DOCTOR, I have had to engage in SOOOOOOOO many interprofessional learning exercises. I have had sessions with student nurses, student pharmacists, student psychologists, student counsellors (as in people learning to become mental health counsellors, not counsellors who deal with students’ mental health), student physiotherapists, student social service people (do you guys even have a collective noun? Meh, am going to call you ‘ SOCIAL SERVICEMEN…and WOMEN, SS AGENTS, SS Public Guardians…the SS part really doesn’t work, does it? Protectors of the Vulnerable or POV’s)….
Where was I? Oh yeah, plenty of interprofessional learning experiences. And what have I learnt from them? People don’t like working together…. (-.-). There seems to be MASSIVE stereotyping, which is actually enforced by how
medical students STUDENT DOCTORS act and how the other trainee healthcare professionals react towards them.
Judging from what I’ve seen, non doctor trainee healthcare professionals tend to hate our guts and would literally rip us apart with their bare hands because they hate our obnoxious, overly patronising ways (which is how some
medical students STUDENT DOCTORS do act…am not going to play ‘name and shame’…but I really want to (>.<). Or they see us as an abusive relative, ready to insult, hurt, ridicule or do something else to them.
medical studs, STUDENT DOCTORS, don’t help the situation by having the mindset that any interprofessional learning is a MASSIVELY POINTLESS, RIDICULOUSLY STUPID exercise. Yes, although we all feel like that, we seem to fail in communicating that fact to the non doctor trainee healthcare professionals (am calling them THP‘s from now on, because I cannot keep typing trainee healthcare professionals over and over and over and over and over….).
But because we don’t communicate that fact to them, the THP‘s think we are angry and fed up with THEM…Already, we have a MASSIVE communication error, despite the fact that we tend to think that we are very good at interacting with other healthcare professionals *facepalm* (>.<).
Anyways, my point is that there is a big bad secret: WE ARE BAD AT INTERPROFESSIONAL SKILLS and we are in complete denial over it. If we weren’t, then at my last interprofessional learning exercise, the THP’s would not have sat in a bunch in one half of the room, whilst the STUDENT DOCTORS all sat in the other half. Part of the problem is that is just subconsciously what we do. We tend to stick to people we know and distance ourselves from the unknown. I chose to actually sit closer to the middle and thus closer to the THP‘s.
I suggested that we do some ice-breakers, because as annoying and awkward as they are, the situation really did need it. If I hadn’t, then the THP‘s would have just talked amongst themselves and we would have talked amongst ourselves. The suggestion was met with a depressed sigh from both sides. Thankfully, one brave THP seemed to agree with me and said “Would you like me to see if I can get hold of the Titanic for you?”….yes, it was an AWFUL joke, but at least she tried (^.^).
We went through the initial round of telling each other our names and then went straight into the task we were given, which is fine because as everyone knows: you don’t need to be friends with people to work together with them…but it does usually help methinks…
But, before long, the other STUDENT DOCTORS pretty much took control of most of the exercise, with only the one ‘Titanic‘ THP having the courage to keep interacting and challenging them over their ideas. The other THP‘s kept quiet, despite a few attempts from me to include them in our decision making. After about 10 mins of this, I gave up and just left them be. One thing I have learnt about life is to know when to run from a losing battle. Being brave, standing steadfast and continuing to the very end is noble and great and all, but I would have expended so much energy if I tried to keep rallying them to reply to us and it ultimately would have made me feel ****.
At least Titanic [yes, am naming her Titanic and no, it is NOT a reference to her size, before anyone starts insinuating that it is. Actually, she was quite slender and good-looking…what? I am a guy, ok? I can’t help noticing a beautiful female when one crosses my path (-.-)]
What really annoys me is the reinforcement of these annoying attitudes to interprofessional learning that happened as a result of this exercise, despite my best efforts to challenge it (maybe I could have done more to challenge it, I don’t deny that. But I readily and happily admit to being a flawed and horrific member of humanity).
I don’t know how the THP‘s honestly felt about the whole thing…but I can make a guess:
They REALLY NOW hate our obnoxious, overly patronising ways or REALLY they see us as abusive relatives.
As for us STUDENT DOCS, I noticed afterwards that some of the other docs started b****ing about how the THP‘s were being awkward and anti-social…maybe they were, but can you blame them for that when most of us weren’t talking directly to them or directly asking them for their input? A few STUD DOCS even had the audacity to insult Titanic for being so pushy…Again, I could have challenged those STUD DOCS over what they said…but I am not brave, noble or great. Not to mention that I still don’t know most of the year group well enough to start debates/arguments with them. As the saying goes, you’re better off not stirring up a vipers’ nest, especially if you plan on sleeping near it …