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STEME2019 Conference reports

One upon a time, I used to do full-blown reports of conferences I went to... it was a brilliant way to maximise my own learning, and enabled me to easily reference back to things I had learned rather than half-remembering a talk several months or years later. But eventually the humungous effort involved in collating reports from whole teams of roving reporters (the 2014 CEM Conference and CPD events nearly killed me - they took dozens and dozens of hours to do) I simply had to call a halt.

I do, however, still do brief summaries when I have time - I have to put something into my appraisal folder anyway so I figure I may as well.

Hence, as I have had a few SPA days over the Christmas/New Year period I was able to work from home, I finally caught up with the 2019 HEIW "STEME" (Sharing Training Excellence in Medical Education) conference that was held back in October - the plenary sessions are available on-line - to get some trainer CPD hours in the bag, and so I did a couple of reports too.

Day One was lots of stuff about Leadership. Now, I'm getting cynical in my old age, because it does seem to me that the NHS is very good about talking about "producing clinical leaders", setting up academies or entire new training systems at extortionate expense... and yet at the coal face, things are not necessarily getting any better (in fact in Emergency Medicine they are most definitely getting worse, as a glance at Four-Hour performance figures from anywhere in the UK will tell you). We all know of individuals in NHS "leadership positions" who can spout all the jargon from whichever generation of NHS leadership training they have attended, and yet are still on a spectrum from somewhat ineffective to useless - and thoughtless to cruel. I suppose one could argue that, had it not been for investing in producing leaders, things would be even worse (lord help us...) which hardly bears thinking about!

Day Two was far more my thing. The stand-out talk was Jane Cannon of the GMC talking about Differential Attainment (in BME doctors). And as a white middle-class consultant, it opened my eyes to some stuff that I really have had no insight into - like BME students (in general, not just medical students) strongly preferring to train in an institution they feel reflects them... and that for a BME trainee, being cast out into rural DGHs when they really wanted to be in a city can bring a feeling of cultural isolation. I would urge anyone reading this to watch the video of her talk, and have a browse through the links I have tagged in the Day Two report.

I don't know how useful - if at all - these reports are to people... my infographics get shared far more widely on Twitter, but of course they are a single-click thing. Hence I'd welcome any feedback - even if it's "nah, don't bother" - and I'll not do any more in this format if that is the case!

I can be reached on Twitter direct message - @DrLindaDykes or at

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