Sunday, October 17, 2021

Project Magnum Opus

    I am writing this to become a better doctor. To be able to function at the level of a consultant. There is no fixed syllabus. There are only outlines of topics that a consultant kinda needs to know about. It seems like an impossible task, but medicine is ultimately based on real life, and it cannot deviate from that. Medicine changes, but human beings do not evolve that quickly. I have 10 years of experience behind me, along with studying for the exams, which are based on real life, and will stay true to reality.

    This project is an integration of all previous study documents for consultant level exams, namely my collection of clinical decision making tools and copypastable templates, ECG archives, ABG archives, and collections of structured assessments and multiple choice questions.

    This aims to be the final set of notes in my career. It will be updated as appropriate and once complete I will look into versioning and QI.

    The topics are wide, and the knowledge required could be extremely focused at times. Remembering lists is meaningless. Everything has to be in working memory, well understood and structured to allow for rapid access on the floor. Quick. Intuitive. Practical. To achieve the required amount of practical working knowledge, basic principles are to be employed. The structure is similar to that of the International Baccalaureate diploma, in that each theme is broken up into chunks with a progression of concepts and logical themes.

    The separation of themes differ from traditional textbooks and references as they are oriented around clinical relevance and application. Compartmentalizing information in clinically relevant areas of working memory is a key goal of this project.

    As this project focuses on real life, many topics are deliberately superficial and to the point. There are also some topics that end up being oddly specific and detailed as they are relevant to clinical practice.

  • Chunking. Breaking up each topic in to bite sized pieces that could be integrated into working memory. Each topic should be reviewable in about 1 hour.
  • Minimising cognitive load.
  • Pictures / diagrams / illustrations / questions*
  • Each topic has to flow in a logical progression of thinking – from fundamental concepts to complex themes.
  • Each topic starts with a question or clinical scenario – because that’s how real life works.
  • Cutting out the noise: Information relevant to practical real life clinical decision making is to be included.
  • Portability – if a presentation needs to be done on one of the themes, easily copy-pastable into a powerpoint.

    I hope to enlist some colleagues to help proof read the topics prior to publishing. Versions are identified by a date appended to each file.