October – New Academic Year and A New WICM Chair

Liz Thomas

New academic year – new blog post!

Hello – I’m Liz Thomas – a consultant in intensive care medicine and anaesthesia and I am delighted to have taken over the role of Chair of the WICM committee from Dr Rosie Baruah. I have been on the WICM committee for almost 12 months.

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Max and Keira’s Law – The Bill That Was Pulled Out Of A Bowl

Claire Williment

Max and Keira’s Law came in to force on the 20th May 2020 and brought renewed hope to the thousands of people on the UK transplant waiting list. The legislation introduced ‘opt out’ as the legal basis for organ donation consent in England and is expected to lead to an additional 700 transplants a year. However, the path to getting the new legislation in place was far from smooth.

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Preparing for the FFICM (final) examination – an examiner’s view

Victoria Robson
FFICM Exam Chair

FFICM is a ‘high stakes’ exam taken by ICM trainees, and is mandatory before entry it stage 3 training. This article aims to give some tips and pointers to trainees who are preparing for this exam, written by an experienced FFICM examiner.  

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Coffee afternoons, baby yoga and a masters?

Samantha Batt-Rawden

As a dual trainee who had never jumped off the training treadmill, I was looking forward to my maternity leave. I had pictured long coffee afternoons with other new mothers, taking up baking and trying my hand at baby yoga. Heck, I had thought I was going to be so refreshed by what I thought would be a break I might even sign up to do a part-time Masters in my ‘time off’.

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Working as an International Medical Graduate with a BAME Background during COVID-19

Shashi Chandrashekaraiah, Sushruth Raghunath, Avinash Jha, Arif Akbar, Ikenga Samuel & Mohammed Elshamy

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) account for approximately 25% of the current UK trainee doctor workforce and are predominantly of black Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. There has been a lot of discussion during the current COVID-19 crisis about IMGs and their contribution to the NHS, VISA/Immigration health surcharge and the more important topic of increased mortality among BAME doctors from COVID-19.

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Who still believes in Santa and science?

Matt Morgan

As I look through my office window at yellowing patches of summer grass, it may seem strange to talk about Christmas. But these are strange times. I remember being told that there are three stages of life – first you believe in Santa, then you don’t believe in Santa, then you are Santa.

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The academic response to COVID-19

Tony Rostron

For those of us who contribute to patient facing research, there were signals in early March that our working lives were about to change. The safety implications related to recruitment of and sampling from patients in studies who were potentially infected with SARS-CoV-2 needed to be considered. As a result many NIHR portfolio studies, supported by their funders, decided to pause recruitment.

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#BetterTogether: The Critical Care Team

Sarah Clarke

One of the difficult jobs during this pandemic is not only our dedication and commitment to best care of our patients, but the supervision and support of those less familiar to the Critical Care environment. This may be our own trainees, but also others for whom the decision to come to our ‘space’ hasn’t necessarily been their own; and includes other specialty trainees, senior medical staff, nursing colleagues and allied health professionals.

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Finding a consultant post: Why district general ICM was the right choice for me

Debbie Kerr

The final years of training can be somewhat of an emotional roller-coaster – you’re excited to finally see the ‘reward’ for all those years of hard work, but anxious about taking on a new post and responsibilities. Perhaps one of the more difficult considerations is where you want to work as a consultant, and how this will influence your career progression after training… it certainly was for me! In this blog, I wanted to share my thoughts about finding a consultant post, and why becoming a district general ICU consultant was the right choice for me.

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‘Stepping down’ from Critical Care and into freefall: a patient’s perspective

Catherine White

What happens to your patients once they leave ICU?

What may be the end of the story for critical care healthcare professionals is usually the beginning of a long, difficult and sometimes very lonely journey for patients and their relatives.

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Capacity in Critical Care

Kate Rimmer

The issue of mental capacity in the critical care environment can be fraught with difficulty and can cause anxiety to staff working in these environments.  It is important for all staff involved in the care of the critically ill to understand the law in relation to capacity and consent and have knowledge of the process of making a capacity assessment. 

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Time to Change!

Nish Desai

The time has come; Striking the Balance our first ever WICM meeting on 27 September 2019, on a rather wet Friday at the Royal College of Anaesthetists. In all the excitement leading up to the event, I recall speaking to Lucy Rowan at the Faculty the day before to discuss the day and shared my rather nervous feelings about writing this blog.

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Being Male in Medicine – Changing Social Gender-Based Expectations

Rosie Baurah & Mark Hughes

On the 2nd of June I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Woman In Surgery Scottish Meeting at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. The programme was packed full of enthusiastic and informative speakers – and one of them, Mr Mark Hughes, an ST8 in neurosurgery who I have the privilege to work with at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, also happened to be male!

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Neurocritical Care – why I love what I do and succession planning!

Manni Wariach

After two amazing years at Southampton Neuro ICU and 50,000 miles on the clock, I am moving back to London to be closer to my girls. Thinking about succession planning for my post has allowed me to enthuse to the Wessex ICM trainees about how rewarding my job has been here. So why should they consider applying for my job?

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Returning to Work

Rosie Baruah

There is increased awareness amongst the medical royal colleges of the challenges of returning to work after a long period away, and the need for this to be a structured, managed process.  The Faculty is developing its own Return to Work (RTW) guidance, which will be a synthesis of the guidance provided by its constituent colleges.

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