This chapter aims to provide some tips and tricks with regards to studying. You need to develop your own methods but we hope that you will find some of these suggestions helpful.
This is by far most important thing during this Masterclass. Do not be satisfied simply knowing the local protocols, but ask yourself which evidence they are based on. Read an important study, and an editorial or analysis of the study, in order to understand the implications. Work out what the current controversies and voids in our knowledge are, and therefore which direction future studies might take. Which developments will be of leading importance in the coming years? What literature will really change your daily practice and hospital protocols? Focus your study on current literature and controversies.
Think about what your ultimate goal is
Consider what you would like to achieve. Which direction would you like to take? We have outlined our desired outcomes in the Preface, but you will need to set your own goals for this Masterclass (as well as for your future learning process) in order to be successful.
Use your mentor!
This is a great opportunity to have in-depth discussions with an experienced Emergency Physician, who faces the same challenges and controversies in their daily practice as you, and is willing and able to debate viewpoints and options with you. Share your thoughts, and discuss interesting cases from work. Don’t be afraid to give your opinion; if you are able to support it with arguments you will soon find yourself in an interesting conversation.
Different options and patient categories
Think outside the box; not every patient is a healthy, 75 kg man. Think about different age groups (e.g. infants, children, and the elderly), different cultural groups, and various 'at risk' groups (e.g. pregnant women, alcoholics, and immunosuppressed patients).
Make an effort to learn details and different options for assessment and management, but always apply this knowledge to the situation at hand. What will YOUR management be, in YOUR hospital? Which option do YOU prefer, and why? If there is a local protocol that prescribes a different course of action, consider whether this is a reasonable alternative, or whether perhaps there is a need to discuss a change of the protocol at your institution.
For any particular presentation, do not be satisfied with simply establishing what the diagnosis is, and initiating its management. It is an important part of a specialist level approach to Emergency Medicine to always think about the potential causes of a condition, as well as seeking potential complications that may occur. Some call this the 3 Cs of Emergency Medicine: Case-Cause-Complications.