How to be EPIC in the time of COVID

Evolution is afoot. It‘s entirely possible you will have noticed a bit of an alteration in the world around us. A pandemic – the downwind effect of a miniscule strand of RNA and its lollypop studded shell, this savage little virus that took a wrong turn out of a market somewhere – has uprooted everything…


The Larger Picture

  Not long ago, at two-forty in the morning, I was staring intently at a young man’s eye. His lid was swelling like a pale balloon, and when I touched it, I could feel air crackling underneath. A thin, bloody ooze trickled from its corner and pooled in the hollow next to his nose. I…


How to Read an ECG

  Interpreting ECG’s is trickier than you think. One must have a system, preferably one that will stand up to the pummel of ED situations and environmental influences: time pressures, incomplete information, typhoons, that sort of thing.   The technique I employ has been honed over years of having a handful of seconds to come…


How to be The Shop Floor Clinician

Once in a while we don’t have to be Epic. We can be a plain worker bee, low ranking, mission brown, a serf. We are permitted to hitch up our strides like peasants, and get on with the business of hoeing through the garden of the unwell. Such freedom, you say.  None of the high-level…


How to be a FALCON

In my institution we have an unholy obsession with role-delineating acronyms. We have the EPIC (Emergency Physician in Charge), an OWL (Observation Ward Leader), and a CAT (Clinical Something-starting-with-A Teacher), as though we are in some delightful Edward Lear fancy about to set sail with a runcible spoon. We are, most assuredly, not. The latest…


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About the author

Dr Michelle Johnston is a consultant Emergency Physician who works at an inner city hospital. Mostly her days consist of trauma and mess. Also, she writes.

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