Education

Redefining the hero narrative

  “Show me your teeth!”       It was not a request, but an order.       Standing very close, in front of me, so that I could see his nasal hair, and feel his breath upon my face, this tall, well built, strange man issued his order...

Recalling genuine kindness

“Do you mind if I sit here?” I looked up and saw a woman in her late 40s carrying a tray of lunch. Yes, I wanted to say. Yes, I do mind. Actually. I chose to sit here, away from everyone else, at the furthest corner of the room, on a table on my own for a reason. “Of...

Remembering what we believe in

"Assumptions!" declared a voice. I looked up to find a tall man in a cassock and dog collar, clutching a bible to his breast. “It’s all about assumptions,” he repeated, looking triumphant. Assumptions, I wondered. Was that a book of the bible I had somehow missed in...

Recognising the smoke screens that help us get closer

I met ‘Aunt Es’ when I was 18. I had heard all about her from my Dad. She had introduced him to the Lake District and to Swallows and Amazons, which he read to me the long, hot summer of 1976 when I broke my arm, aged 8. My dad adored his ‘Aunt Es’ who was not his...
Re-educating: it is not a war

Re-educating: it is not a war

This week we are picking up on the similarities that exist in professionals who work with the public, specially between healthcare professionals and teachers. A recent article from Australia claims that teachers are more burned out than any other profession and we...

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Re-verbalising:The language of feedback

Re-verbalising:The language of feedback

I had just completed a three hour workshop for medical students on feedback and reflection. The context for the workshops was contentious; the students were suspicious of the motivation of the school leadership for mandating these sessions. I was merely the...

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Re-constituting: Humanity vs. Professionalism

Re-constituting: Humanity vs. Professionalism

He was furious. His face taut, great gaunt lines etched at the sides, his eyes hooded and wary, a pulse visible in his neck. He was leaning forward, almost begging and his eyes like flint, hard and cold and angled, as though to look at her directly would give away the...

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Re-calculating: boundaries

Re-calculating: boundaries

When we work with others, and our work involves caring for and about them, how far is too far? When we need to walk in someone else’s shoes, in order to support them to make the best choices they can, how do we avoid slipping into those shoes too? How do we preserve...

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Re-negotiating what we do in one little word

Re-negotiating what we do in one little word

I had three deliveries last week. A USB stick, for work. A pair of shoes for a party. A wheelbarrow full of manure for the garden. The USB came through the letterbox and landed on the mat, and escaped being eaten by the dog. The shoes arrived when I was out and were...

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Re-levelling the hierarchy

Re-levelling the hierarchy

Do you remember.......  Three little words, but three words that can strike fear into even the most experienced of clinicians. Do remember that patient you sent home? Do you remember that patient you referred to me? Do you remember that patient you operated...

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Remonstrating: where teaching and medicine collide

Remonstrating: where teaching and medicine collide

Steven was six feet and five inches tall, with arms and legs like spaghetti. He came to my class as a fifteen year old, having been removed from his mother to live with his father and his new wife. Steven had moved over 500 miles to do so and spoke with a different...

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