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Sharp Scratch

Students and young medics need to learn a lot to become good doctors - we're here to talk about the things that medical school doesn't teach you. Brought to you by BMJ student.

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Anxiety

Anxiety's a natural part of life - under certain circumstances. And we know that med students and junior docs are more likely than other groups to suffer from anxiety disorders and depression. This week, the Sharp Scratch team talk about their anxieties, and hear from some expert guests on how we can manage anxiety day to day, and how to recognise when we might need a little extra help.This week's expert guests and contributors:Dr Stania Kamara is an ST6 Specialist Registrar in Forensic Psychiatry, and current Medical Director's Clinical Fellow at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges with NHS England and NHS Improvement. She is passionate about trying to improve access to good quality mental health care across the globe and has worked to develop services and build the capacity of the mental health workforce in a number in number of low and middle income countries. In 2015 she was shortlisted for the Royal College of Psychiatrists Core Trainee of the Year award and awarded the Queen's medal for service during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.Stephen Buckley is Head of Information at Mind, the mental health charity.For the resources Stephen mentions, check out the Mind website.https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/about-anxiety/If you are struggling with anxiety, you can get help by contacting your GP, university services or local services.If you need someone to talk to, one to one and confidentially, you can call the Samaritans for free at 116 123. Find more information on their website.https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/

36mins

6 Mar 2020

Rank #1

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The dating life of new doctors

Who’s off limits when it comes to dating, how renal physiology can ruin your chance of romance, and whether you should put that you’re a doctor on your tindr profile.Dating as a newly qualified doctor brings some challenges that we don’t face as med students: unpredictable hours, exhaustion from night shifts, and professional boundaries with colleagues. And maybe there are some lines we should not cross. How hard is it to find romance while adjusting to life as a doctor?Join medical students Laura and Declan and new doctor Divolka as we discuss how new doctors can join in the fun part of life that is dating. Featuring three doctors - Alyssa, Dipesh, and Amy - who share their awkward moments from their dating lives. Plus, Rob from Medical Protection gives advice on who’s off limits, and our Sharp Scratch regular Ryhan calls in to tell us how his medical elective is going.Tell us what you think about the episode and your ideas for topics to cover later in the series by leaving a review or by using #SharpScratch on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.For more on the podcast, including how to follow Laura, Declan, Ryhan, Alyssa, Dipesh, and Rob on social media, visit www.bmj.com/sharpscratch.

42mins

29 Aug 2019

Rank #2

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Gallows humour

It's happened to every medic: relatives start telling you off for your dinnertime topic choices; non-medical friends probe and then sit in shock as you tell your latest morbid hospital joke. Some people - like Adam Kay - have even made a career of it. How much is too much gallows humour? And in a time of overstretched resources and clinician burnout, is dark humour an important way of bringing together people who have seen the best and worst of the healthcare system? Our expert guests and contributors:Benji Waterstones is a senior psychiatric trainee and stand up comedian. He's performed his comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe in the past, and joins us this week to unpick the art of medical comedy.Brian Goldman is an emergency physician, author and radio host. He wrote a book called 'The Secret Language of Doctors' and hosts show 'White Coat Black Art' on Canadian Broadcasting Company Radio 1www.bmj.com/sharpscratch

36mins

5 Dec 2019

Rank #3

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What you can do on social media

Med students and doctors of the 21st century often use social media for work and leisure. We all hear the same spiel from our med schools about being safe online - but social media can also be used for good! Join Laura, Anna, Ryhan, and our expert guest Dr Dominique Thompson as we discuss all the 'dos' of social media, rather than the 'don'ts.' Tell us what you think about the episode and your ideas for topics to cover later in the series by leaving a review or by using #SharpScratch on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.For more on the podcast, including how to follow Laura, Anna, Ryhan and Dominique on social media, visit www.bmj.com/sharpscratch.

44mins

7 Nov 2019

Rank #4

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Doctor's first Christmas

Christmas bells are ringing! It's a day that comes for all those who work shifts: your first holiday season at work. How can you bring a little festive cheer to the ward? We hear from some clinicians about their working Christmases and discuss how you can make the most of the holiday period in the hospital, as we try to convince Declan that working Christmas Day might not be as bad as he thinks... Our expert guests and contributors:Jo Talbot Bowen is a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist with a special interest in stress in clinicians. Sally El-Ghazali is an anaesthetics trainee who has actually chosen to work over Christmas in the past!Rahul Pankhania is a surgical trainee whose Christmas day on the ward was once saved by a gift of a mince pie...

25mins

20 Dec 2019

Rank #5

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Coping with death

As med students and junior doctors, we'll encounter death more than the general population. So how do we cope with the emotional strain this can bring? How do you support colleagues who are grieving? And is it ever ok to cry in front of a patient? Join medical students Laura and Ryhan, and junior doctor Chidera as they talk about coping with death, and hear from Stephen Barclay, GP and palliative care doctor, and who taught Laura and Chidera about death and dying.Tell us what you think about the episode and your ideas for topics to cover later in the series by leaving a review or by using #SharpScratch on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.For more on the podcast, including how to follow Laura, Chidera, Ryhan and Stephen on social media, visit www.bmj.com/sharpscratch.

49mins

11 Oct 2019

Rank #6

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Being a sick doctor

Last time we talked about getting ill, and taking some sick days - but what happens when you realise that your illness doesn’t have an end date, and if you’re going to return to work at all, then you’re going to return to work with your illness.What is it like? How to do you talk to colleagues or patients about it. Can you come to terms with yourself as a doctor with a long term illness? And how can you access support to continue working?Join medical students Laura and Anna, and new doctor Declan as they talk about being ill, and quiz Anne de Bono President of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine about adapting your ways of working.Tell us what you think about the episode and your ideas for topics to cover later in the series by leaving a review or by using #SharpScratch on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.For more on the podcast, including how to follow Laura, Anna, Declan, and Anne on social media, visit www.bmj.com/sharpscratch.

49mins

26 Sep 2019

Rank #7

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Making ends meet

Sharp Scratch is all about bringing the hidden curriculum to light - so it's time to get real about another hidden aspect of medicine: the financial commitments of studying and being a junior doc. Hidden costs are everywhere: so how do you anticipate them and how can you weather financial storms? Join the team as we hear from med students and junior docs about their moey worries, and quiz our expert guest about where we can get help. Our expert guests and contributors: We heard from some medical students and junior docs: Nishita Gadi Instagram: nishitagadixOliver Arscott Twitter: @OArscottPedra Rabiee Twitter: @pedrarabieeLewis Hughes: @LewyHugheyKathryn Runswick is an employment advisor for the BMA and Liverpool Medical School, and the mother of a newly qualified doctor. For advice on managing your money at medical school, the BMA produces gudies which can be found here https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/work-life-support/your-finances-and-protection/medical-student-finance. The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund also provides money advice and signposting to hardship funds https://rmbf.org/.

45mins

21 Nov 2019

Rank #8

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How sick, is sick enough, to call in sick?

Med students and docs face pressure to keeping working when they are poorly - compulsory classes, stretched rotas and knackered colleagues, and pride or stigma masquerading as self discipline or resilience. So against the tide of pressure, how sick is sick enough? And what are the costs of working while poorly?Join medical students Laura and Declan and new panel member Anna Harvey and welcome back Sharp Scratch alumni James Macguire. We also talk to microbiologist Sarah Wylie about why throwing up between patients means you definitely need to go home.Tell us what you think about the episode and your ideas for topics to cover later in the series by leaving a review or by using #SharpScratch on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.For more on the podcast, including how to follow everyone on social media, visit www.bmj.com/sharpscratch.

46mins

13 Sep 2019

Rank #9

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New year resolutions

January is traditionally a time when people make all sorts of promises to themselves - often around food, exercise or work. But sometimes these New Year's Resolutions might put us at risk of putting ourselves under too much pressure. In this episode, we discuss the resolutions you might like to make to protect your physical and mental wellbeing in 2020. Our expert guests and contributors:Abi Rimmer is Careers Editor at The BMJ and has been heavily involved in The BMJ's wellbeing campaign. You can find her on Twitter.Juliet Laycock is a surgical trainee, who provides us with some advice about making the most of a long commute.Abbie Tutt is a graduate entry medical student in Warwick, who has an unusual source of support at university! She's on Twitter and also runs a blog.Isra Husain is a final year medical student in London who loves to sing! You can follow her on Twitter.To read the article Abi mentioned about gardening, take a look at BMJ Careers' 'Why I' series.

35mins

9 Jan 2020

Rank #10

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Racism in medicine

In an episode to coincide with The BMJ's themes issue on racism in medicine, this week we talk people getting your name wrong, other microaggressions, and how racism can literally break your heart. We also hear from Professor David Williams on the physiological impact of discrimination and being a person with prejudices.You can hear David's full interview in The BMJ podcast.This week's expert contributor:David Williams is a Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as a Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University.His research has focussed on the health effects of racial discrimination, as well as the public health implications of marginalisation.

42mins

21 Feb 2020

Rank #11

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Working with patients

Every day hundreds of patients give up their time to help train medical students. Some work closely with medical schools, as expert patients who lead hands on teaching sessions, or helping develop the curriculum. As medics, we rely on the good will of patients for our learning. But what's it really like to be a patient who's used as a learning opportunity? This week, we speak to three patients who have experienced just this - and find out the key things to avoid doing and saying!Our expert guests and contributors: Amy Price is a research scientist at Stanford University and part of The BMJ Patient advisory panel. She has worked closely with medical students in a number of different settings.Mike Scott is a member of the Patient Educator team at King's College London School of Medicine, where he's been examined by many medical students as part of his work. Sarah Markham is a mathematician, a researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience. She's a member of The BMJ Patient advisory panel and has lived experience of inpatient mental health services, throughout which she interacted with many medical students.If you'd like to read Ruth Tapp's piece that Anna mentions, you can find it on BMJ.com

35mins

6 Feb 2020

Rank #12

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Documenting death

As med students and junior doctors, we encounter death more than the general population. But what do you actually do when you're called to the ward to see a patient who has died - and what happens after you've confirmed a patient death? Join Laura, Anna, Declan and our special guest, Robert Cast, anatomical pathological technologist, as we take a dive into the world beyond the wards, to find out how we can keep caring for our patients after they die.Tell us what you think about the episode and your ideas for topics to cover later in the series by leaving a review or by using #SharpScratch on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.For more on the podcast, including how to follow Laura, Anna, Declan and Robert on social media, visit www.bmj.com/sharpscratch.

48mins

24 Oct 2019

Rank #13

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Yvonne Coghill is trying to fix racism in the NHS

In this week's special episode of Sharp Scratch, we've got something a little different for you! Last week the panel talked microaggressions, so this week we're hearing from an expert guest who is leading the work the NHS is doing to combat inequality in healthcare.If you like this special edition, let us know on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #SharpScratchThis week's special guest:Yvonne Coghill, CBE is the director of Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) at NHS England and NHS Improvement. Yvonne has over 20 years’ experience in nursing, before taking up operational and strategic leadership posts. During her 40 plus years career, she has held a wide variety of clinical and managerial roles at the Department for Health and NHS Leadership Academy. In 2013 she was voted by colleagues in the NHS as one of the top 50 most inspirational women, one of the top 50 most inspirational nurse leaders and one of the top 50 black and minority ethnic (BME) pioneers, two years in a row. In July 2015 Yvonne joined NHS England as director for WRES Implementation. She was awarded an Order of the British Empire for services to healthcare in 2010 and Commander of the British Empire in 2018. Yvonne was elected deputy president of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in November 2018.Some of the resources Yvonne mentions during the interview:https://www.england.nhs.uk/2020/02/nhs-publishes-new-workforce-race-equality-data-ahead-of-nhs-and-race-summit/ https://www.england.nhs.uk/about/equality/equality-hub/equality-standard/resources/ https://www.england.nhs.uk/2019/01/race-equality/

48mins

28 Feb 2020

Rank #14

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Working with the multidisciplinary team

We've spoken before on Sharp Scratch about how med students and junior docs can make friends with more senior doctors (like in episode two, when we talked about referrals). But there's a host of other professionals that work together to make patient care safe and effective - the multidisciplinary team - and we want to be friends with them too. As a medical student you often only get a short amount of time on a new ward, so this week we're talking about how we can make sure we build good relationships with the rest of the team, as quickly as possible. Our expert guests and contributors: Helga Lawrence is a student mental health nurse at Anglia Ruskin University. This week we chat with her about the annoyance of having medical students on the ward, and how a student nurse could be your best friend on placement. Wendy Preston is a Consultant Nurse in respiratory medicine and is Head of Nursing Practice at The Royal College of Nursing. You can find her on Twitter. Carolyn Cairns was previously a manager in the NHS, but is now a second year medical student! She's on Twitter. If you're interested in the work done by Civility Saves Lives, you can find out more at their website.

40mins

24 Jan 2020

Rank #15

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Keeping your relationship alive when you become a doctor

The secrets of true love, how being a new doctor affects your sex life, and whether it’s a good idea to date a medic in the first place.Becoming a doctor brings new challenges to romantic relationships: shift work, commutes, and emotional burdens from work. How can we prepare to carry relationships through this transition? Are linked job applications wise? Is it tougher (as a junior doctor) to date someone who is a junior doctor too than someone in another career?Join medical student Laura, new doctor Chidera, and Julia Bland from DocHealth which offers medical psychotherapy for doctors. We discuss how to keep a romantic relationship alive in the transition between medical school and your first job as a doctor. Featuring three medical students - Michael, Catriona, and Richard - who bare themselves and reveal what they’re worried about as they consider the future of their relationships.Tell us what you think about the episode and your ideas for topics to cover later in the series by leaving a review or by using #SharpScratch on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.For more on the podcast, including how to follow Laura, Chidera, Michael, Catriona, and Richard on social media, visit www.bmj.com/sharpscratch.

51mins

16 Aug 2019

Rank #16

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Fresher's firsts: Socialising

*This episode was recorded live* This is a strange time to be starting your first year of medical school - covid-19 is changing the way in which you learn and socialise, and find out what being a medical student is about. For some, they may be the first cohort in a brand new medical school - and have no older year to learn from. Well, Sharp Scratch has done two live episodes to answer all those nagging questions - firstly about the academic side of being a student, and secondly, on the social side.In this week's episode the panel discuss and reminisce on their first years, including infamous medic socials, friendships and maintaining a good a work-life balance.

53mins

28 Sep 2020

Rank #17

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Leaving medicine

This week, the Sharp Scratch team is joined by Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief of The BMJ to talk about what it's like to leave clinical medicine, and how it can be challenging to lose your medical identity.Our expert guestsFi Godlee is the first ever female Editor in Chief of The BMJ.Mayank Bhandari left medicine at the end of his foundation training to pursue a career in management consultancy.

42mins

18 May 2020

Rank #18

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What med students can learn from a Saturday job

This week the Sharp Scratch team welcome two brand new panel members to talk about interesting jobs outside of medicine, and what we might be able to learn from a crappy Saturday job.This week's contributors:Alisha Webb is a third year medical student at Newcastle Medical School, who talks to us this week about a variety of interesting jobs she had before she began studying medicine.Dr Patrick Lynch is a new graduate of Queen's University Belfast who tells us how playing the church organ helped him develop skills for medicine.

39mins

1 May 2020

Rank #19

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Should a doctor have a tattoo?

This podcast was recorded before the extraordinary circumstances due to the covid-19 outbreak. Following on from our episode on what to wear on the wards, this week the Sharp Scratch team and expert guest take a closer look at the stereotypes around what doctors look like. This week's expert guest Dr Devina Maru is a GP specialty registrar in London, who has loved fashion from a young age, having grown up with a grandfather who is a tailor and a cousin who is an international fashion designer. You can follow her on Twitter: @Devina_Maru To read the BMA's dress code click here. https://archive.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/contracts/consultant-contracts/dress-codes

42mins

17 Apr 2020

Rank #20