One of the greatest threats to global health is not a communicable disease. Its not something that can be solved by crisis teams or vaccines. Its not an eponymous syndrome or an -itis.
Yep- training. Its the ability, as a patient, to be treated by someone with the best possible skills for your condition. But this is not a luxury many patients- and healthcare professionals- are provided with around the world. In some cases doctors have no formal postgraduate training, and that is, well, galling.
“One of the greatest threats to global health…is not an eponymous syndrome, or an -itis.”
As healthcare professionals there is very little we enjoy more than learning something new, learning a new thing in the vocation we love so dearly. We love growing and developing, so that we can learn a new skill to more effectively treat out patients. Or learning about a new disease or diagnostic process that allows us to rapidly improve the care we provide to those entrusted to us. Doing that purposefully and with structure is critical to ensuring we produce the best doctors.
“In some cases doctors have no formal postgraduate training, and that is, well, galling.”
In those countries that do have formal postgraduate curricula or programmes, there are often no facilities to record training and improvement. Wow. How are senior clinicians meant to mentor those progressing through the system if we can’t provide targeted training or we don’t know at what level we are at? How do I know, as a doctor, what I need to work on if I have no record of what I have done already? More importantly, as a patient- I’d love to know my doctors are at the right standard, have the right skills and are continuing to learn. Not only that, but that they are being supported to continue to learn and that can record what they are learning.
Ok then, world-changer. What would the ideal solution look like?
Well, it would be seamless. User-friendly. Intuitive. A tool that needs little-to-no introduction or specialist skills to use. A tool that doesn’t need fibre broadband to function. Or even a computer. A tool that, with a touch on a basic smartphone can allow healthcare professionals around the world to transparently keep track of their training, record their achievements… or even showcase them to the world.
It would be paperless. No more messy paper certificates. No more dumping forests-worth of achievements in a pile. No more collecting them in a folder. No more rummaging around for them at interview.
And they’d be used. No more hiding our greatest and proudest achievements as healthcare professionals away in drawer, or a cupboard. They’d be used to foster collaboration; match doctors with great potential mentors, researchers, partners for projects.
As patients, we would know, that the professionals treating us were trained to an excellent standard. That their development was taken seriously. That the standard of care they were able to provide was equitable to that provided in another hospital, another region, another country.
Because, if we can strive for democracy, collaboration and quality as #TeamMedicine, we may be able to change how we maintain standards of training, we may be able to change how we “do research,” we may even be able to change how we “do audits.” If we can change that, we may be able to raise global training standards enough to even save a life. Maybe if we can impact how we do research we may be able to discover some new or more effective therapies, medications or techniques. That might even save a few more lives.
“Maybe, just maybe, if we as a group of professionals are focused on addressing the single biggest threat to global health, #TeamMedicine may be able to change the world.”
And if we can save a few more lives, time and time again, we may be able to affect a region. Maybe even a country. If we keep going, and keep focused on improving democracy, collaboration and quality, we might even impact a few countries. Maybe, just maybe, if we, as a group of professionals are focused on addressing the single biggest threat to global health, #TeamMedicine may be able to change the world.
Are you up for the journey?
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