Professor Stickler, who holds the Chair of Pedantry and heads UCEM‘s Education and Training program in the School of Health and Information Technology, addressed an army of riveted journalists at UCEM headquarters in Pyongyang today. Stickler warned of the negative consequences of the current epidemic of methylphenidate and dexamphetamine used for the treatment of Attention Deficit/ Hypersensitivty Disorder (ADHD) in young people.
Professor Stickler said:
While we are not the first to raise the alarm concerning the widespread prescription of these drugs, we are the first to identify a particularly nefarious consequence that threatens our utopian medical objectives.
What crisis awaits us? Well, nothing less than the eradication of the ideal emergency physician personality type and the meltdown of utopian emergency medical practice
Professor Stickler quoted a much cited career chart published in the British Medical Journal that clearly identified ADHD traits as a necessary prerequisite for entry into the emergency medicine career path.
Professor Stickler elaborated further:
Instead of trying to ameliorate these personality traits with drugs we should be trying to accentuate them. In the era of the 4 picosecond rule, pre-departmental medicine, the emergency circle of care, and ‘Downstairs Patients, Upstairs!‘ we need emergency physicians with more pronounced ADHD traits more than ever.”
“At UCEM we value hyperactivity, we value impulsive people who don’t like waiting their turn and have no compulsions about interrupting others, we value people who finish off what other people are saying, we value those who have a heightened sensitivity to extraneous stimuli, and we especially value those who don’t get bogged down by focusing their attention on one task for too long.”
“Finally, and most importantly, those who learn to live with the low self esteem and social ostracism that comes with full-blown ADHD are already preadapted for life as a successful emergency physician.”
So there you have it, UCEM says ‘NO!’ to drugs like methylphenidate and dexamphetamine.
- Veysman B. Physician, Know Thyself. BMJ 2005; 331: 1529
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.