TIRBO #22: Understanding “weak” trainees

You have a trainee, orientee, intern/resident/fellow, student, or other learner who just seems slower than the rest. What should that mean to you? A perspective on this week’s TIRBO.

2 thoughts on “TIRBO #22: Understanding “weak” trainees”

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, UK A&E trainee, I’d say I agree with most of what you said. But as someone who considers themselves as a slow trainee, I have a self-serving bias and I find myself compelled to disagree or expand on some points.
    I struggled a whole lot to learn uss guided iv access- it took me many many tries to get it in my head. At one point I thought I’d never be able to do it. I thought I lacked the brain cells for it, if not for one trainer who tried his best to teach me and said it will click one day; and it did. It does seem silly with that example. But I know I may be a bit slower than my peers to master skills, took me around 4-5 months to get “alright” with intubations. But that is also because I had many people try to teach me that and some of them have better ways at explaining things. And other factors contributed being that intubations weren’t a daily thing although I was on an anaesthetic rotation and we used two different devices. The latest thing I’m struggling with are central lines. I know I will get it some day but it looks like a whole mountain now, heck, If climbing a mountain would get me better at central lines, I would do it.
    I think the upside of slow learners is that we have a whole lot of patience with slow learners, really all learners in general. One of my anaesthetics consultant told me she really lagged behind her colleagues when she first started training, intubations wise, and now she runs ENT lists. Recently Juniors have asked me if I could teach them USS guided iv canulas and I told them if I could do it then anyone can.
    One last thing, you mentioned people who might not like the pace of our environments or the decision making or the long hours/oncalls. I love my work, even the stressful parts of it, but it has to have proper compensation. I have thought of leaving medicine before because the risks and efforts are poorly compensated, monetary or otherwise, so those people who choose to leave, they know they can do better elsewhere and I say good for them

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