There are telltale signs that a professional college has finally come of age.
For instance, as a specialty matures, sub-specialities inevitably arise. Under the umbrella of Utopian Medicine, for instance, we have seen the inexorable rise of Waiting Room Medicine, Bus-stop Surgery and Seaside PR. Another unmistakable mark of maturity is the formalisation of a college’s educational roles.
F.UCEMs, PUPPETS and MUPPETS well remember how the pioneers of the Utopian College had to battle countless detractors and nay-sayers, and had to overcome many fiendish foes and obstinate obstacles to make the college what it is today. Among these challenges is how best to transmit the lessons learnt by the fondling members in the School of Hard Knocks to the naive and unknowing MUPPETS that follow in their footsteps.
Think back to a time before the luxury of the web and the golden age of social media meducation. Many of our forebears couldn’t even use crayons properly and were forced to chisel out the principles of their emerging specialty in tablets of sun-baked excrement using just their yellowed teeth and unmanicured fingernails. These pearls of wisdom, hard won by the ancients, must not be lost to future generations.
Indeed, the UCEM Council Executive have motioned, with characteristic certitude, to ensure that the labours of the now aging and infirm fondling members were not in vain. They have decreed that selected F.UCEMs will be chosen to teach aspiring MUPPETS the art, science and comedy of utopian medical practice. From this day forth, members of this select group will be anointed with UCEM’s new Diploma of Heutagogical Tutelage for the Failing Unwashed (DipHTFU). Yet very few have the necessary talent, capabilities and personality defects to be worthy of the DipHTFU post-nominals.
Requirements for the award of the DipHTFU:
- expertise in problem-based learning. Through an ability to recognise that the student is usually the problem, the HTFU diplomate achieves success where others flounder.
- the ability to ‘man up’ and teach andragogically, while recognising that some highly tense feeble underlings require a more pedagogical approach.
- an intuitive appreciation of the difference between formative and summative assessments, between norm and criterion referencing, and between eLearning and uLearning… and lots of other ridiculous terminology.
- mastery of multiple learning modalities, including visual, auditory and kinesthetic. The diplomate recognises when a poke in the eye, a clip around the ears or a kick in the ar$e will help a student learn.
- the mental toughness to withstand the bleating despair of pessimistic students who were always going to ace the test.
- the ability to teach on the run… students learn even when the diplomate is running away from them.
- abstinence from didaskalogenic activities.
- sado-masochistic tendencies — the pleasure of watching bumbling novices suffer as they fumble through a presentation of their approach to rectal foreign bodies, is offset by the exquisite pain of actually having to listen to what is being said.
- mountaineering experience, including guiding multiple groups of hopelessly timid fashionable underpant-wearers on successful ascents of Mount FACEM.
- one million dollars!
Cheques may be addressed to:
Professor Harry Stickler,
Chair of Pedantry, School of Health and Information Technology,
Utopian College of Emergency for Medicine,
near Pyongyang, North Korea
Finally, the UCEM Council Executive has announced that the first recipient of this prestigious new qualification is none other than Dr Trevor Jackson F.UCEM DipHTFU…
Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.
After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.
He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE. He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.
His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.
On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.