Emergency medicine, and the loophole of love!

the loophole of love

With love we rise above,
Like the angel to the dove,
That flies high in the sky,

Above the the question of “why?”,
This should happen, or that should happen,
Instead taking “acceptance” as the key,

For only then will we be free,
From the visitudes of life,
For these are the ones that give it the spice,

Like a curry to its rice,
Remembering that there is no price,
In dreaming away,

So forget what “they” might say,
Because inside we can continue to pray,
For the gift of smiling yet another day,

And loving the present moment,

For in the end,
It’s all we have.

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I recently started a new rotation of Emergency Medicine training, and before long have found myself immersed in all it’s beauty and simultaneous horror. Our speciality is full of energy, love and frustration. There are good days and challenging days, magic moments and equally frustrating ones, often intertwined into the same 10 hour shift, if not the same hour.

Most days are heavily mixed with both energies which makes it hard to have a frame of reference for an answer when someone from outside this world asks, “so how was your shift?”. For me, it is perhaps most truthful to answer this question with a guitar in hand. An example of this is provided with the the song titled “in the night drift”, that I have included at the end of this post.

Often the pressures within a single shift are high, but when compounded within a persons training period, or across sections of their career span, it is understandable that a soul searching doubt can easily set in, to the point where the question of “why am I doing this again?” is asked.

I am sure that this question gets asked by many in the field, perhaps with haunting frequency, regardless of whether one is a nurse, doctor or any of the multitude of other health “carers”.

Doctors, nurses, and the many other important ones

Whilst most would argue that “doctors and nurses” are at the core of health care provision, there is an array of other people, who occupy either named professions or unnamed roles. These people often contribute under the radar of recognition, but are making a huge difference in the field of emergency medicine everyday.

The list, in no particular order, includes but is not limited to;- physiotherapists, radiographers, clerical staff, nurse aids, cleaners, porters, special care assistants, pharmacists, translators, administrators, radiographers, laboratory staff, parking attendants, building engineers, ambulance and police staff, public health workers, aged care workers, counsellors and social workers, and not least the patients themselves and their families. We are all one, interacting together, in the common milieu of a single shift on the emergency medicine shop floor (a term that is often used to encompass the Emergency Department by Emergency Physicians in Australasia).

Why we practice emergency medicine?

Regardless of whether one is a doctor or has one of the many other important roles in this arena, perhaps Mel Helbert puts forward one of the best expositions of why someone would consider undertaking a career in emergency medicine in his recent talk titled from the EM essentials conference titled “why we practice emergency medicine”.

Mel, is the creator/founder of the EM Rap education channel, is a champion in emergency medicine education. When I use this term I mean it both literally, but I also mean to use it as a term from the field of “knowledge translation“, used to describe those who are proponents of change, in the evolving culture of crossing the “know-do” gap.

Whilst everyone’s story is interesting in their own unique way, Mel seems to have captured with his unashamedly honest exposition something that reaches out and inspires his audience, no matter if you love it or hate it, are within or outside the profession, or are simply curious about why anyone would want to do this job.

It was a really interesting 15 mins so I thought I’d share it here – thanks Mel!

The night shift

 
As promised, this is a song called “in the night drift” that I recorded directly after surviving busy nightshift, when I crawled back to my hospital accommodation and had a much needed sleep (albeit after a date with my guitar!). Enjoy 🙂

Illawara folk festival 2015

Festival of truth,

Festival of love,

 

With music for the soul,

We all rise above,

 

Beyond the dirt and mirth,

The extension of our girth,

 

Is a ‘being’ waiting to be born.

 

Beyond a critics scorn,

Our passion is forlorn,

Within the realm of “creativity”,

 

So let the energy of dance flow,

And with the night stars they glow,

Eating food for all cultures,

No longer are we a vulture,

But rather “creators” of the best,

Forgetting all the rest,

 

By simply enjoying the energy of FUN.

 

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Today we were entertained and enthralled by the Illawara’s premier music festival that was oozing with local and international talent. There was dance, food, world music, folk, rock, blues, open mic, story telling, funk, and much, much more.

We had heard good things about this festival and awaited it’s arrival, but upon spending 8 hours in this magical setting, located at the Bulli showgrounds, with camping on the race tracks, we were both blown away with how the afternoon, and evening panned out.

There were many highlight amongst the multiple acts, performed on multiple stages, that were viewed by us today. The line up of what we saw or partook in included; Debasis Chakroborty and the Kriti, Kristina Olsen, Micahel Fix, Michael-John Azzopardi, the Scottish Ceilidh with the fiddle club, Guerilla Zingari, Afenginn, Sea Shanties, Swing Booty, and Big Erle.

Celebrating success

Celebrating success,
Is perhaps the real test,

Cherishing what has been already achieved,
Instead of allowing the glory to be thieved,

By the next goal,
And other reasons for not feeling whole,

Instead be in the know,
Like a boarder gliding through the snow,

With awareness of life’s ebb and flow,
In the act of a single breath.

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Two days away from the hustle bustle of emergency medicine and I feel like a new person. A little meditation, some surf and hint of life music has such a healing touch. Sometimes in the space between the business and intensity of an active work-life lies the balance that perhaps we all strive for. I by no means have found the perfect balance, but I feel that I am moving towards it experimenting in with work, and relaxation in a variety of forms. It is a daily practice rooted in breathing and the exploration of philosophies that brings meaning into my life.

Sometimes the philosophy needs to be tailored for the specific context of our lives, and this is why I particularly like Shawn Anchor’s guide to happiness for those of us in the pursuit of greater knowledge and skill. Shaun’s revealing findings (about the culture where high achievers can easily be fixed on the next goal without appreciating how far they have come), shed light onto why I had encountered challenges in the past, and provided some tools on how to tackle the present moment without too much focus on the future.

I remember watching this TED talk years ago and it having a profound effect on my own perspective of goal setting and my present relationship with success as I had defined it. After all we can always find our own definition of success, and it doesn’t have to require a definite endpoint. To date the best definition of success I have come across has been one that I heard from a person called Earl Nightingale who was a motivational speaker from the 60’s

“Success is the step-wise realization of a worthy ideal”

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Victor Steele (Uwagboe) – “Factor this!”

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a fellow emergency doc who was a passionate musician at the “Social Medial and Critical Care Conference” (aka #SMACC 2013) and have been meaning to write this post ever since.

As the story goes, I randomly happened to  sit next to a guy at the conference dinner who wanted to talk about nothing else than “music” and “dance”. Being a keen ‘salsero’ and guitarist myself, we got on like a house on fire and realised that we even shared many of the same friends back from Wellington, New Zealand where I grew up, and where Victor had first travelled to from the UK.  Having friends in common is always a blast, however, the thing that inspired me the most about our encounter that evening, which inspired me to write this post, was finding out that Victor was not only a dedicated emergency registrar working in Sydney, but he was also an up-and-coming singer/songwriter, and a very good one at that! But don’t just believe me, have a listen to his SoundCloud page for yourself;-

After a good conference dinner where the dance floor was suitably attended to, Victor mentioned that he was spending the next day recording some tracks he’d been working on, and sure enough a few weeks later he sent me a link to his new EP Called “Factor this” which had his debut 5 tracks, which intrigued me further…

(https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/factor-this-ep/id638597165).

When he sent me the above link in a text message a few weeks later I bought the album, on spec, because by then I already knew that I liked his music from listening to his SoundCloud page, and ever since i’ve been enjoying his tracks on my iphone as one of my pep-me-up ‘study playlists’.

Actually, I liked the music so much that I left these initial comments on the iTunes feedback page;

“Great Debut album by Victor Steele. This album by Victor is packed with smooth sounds and easy listening lyrics, which for me creates a nice jambalaya of rock and R&B. Great lyrics about love, and some deep tunes with universal messages (eg check out the track “never learn”- one of my favorites) – I hope u enjoy this download as much as I did!

Being someone who loves upbeat rhythm guitar, and soulful melodies, this music really struck a chord with me. I also like the themes of love that are embedded in the lyrics, in quite a everyday humble way, and this is backed up by “blog stories” of each song (which are linked to the tracks in his SoundCloud account).

Last thursday, was his EP launch in Manly and we checked it out. It was a great performance –  great voice, great music – Well done Victor! I would love to check out the next gig – keep us posted ! 🙂

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