Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Teach

If you read this blog, you probably know that I have a new job. No, I am still an Anesthesiologist. That hasn't changed. I have another job. I am the Undergraduate Education Coordinator for the Department of Anesthesiology in Regina. Sounds impressive, right. Not really. There are a lot of emails, and meetings, and emails about meetings. Sometimes, I feel really frustrated that nothing is changing. See, I can't make any changes on my own. As the University of Saskatchewan is our parent program, and we are just a satellite in the "Distributive Model of Learning", I must comply with what they want and see fit. I have a lot of ideas and passion, and a lot of the time I just feel like the program is stagnant. Everyone is busy, and stuff just takes TIME.
However, lately I have felt very fulfilled with my new position. I have been fortunate to have a really great bunch of students come through our program lately. Not all of them want to do Anesthesia. In fact, not a single one lately wants to do Anesthesia, but they are all interested. They can all see the value in what we do and how it can impact the rest of their careers, and patient care. They have been keen, interested, and generally fun to be around! So, that in itself has been rewarding.
But it is even better than that! First off, I have seen that some of what I am saying to the students is actually sinking in! They are LEARNING! I worked with a resident today and he remembered a lot of what we talked about the time before. That is really what this job is about - imparting knowledge.
Then, there is the fact that by being around students, it helps me to take a look at my own knowledge and my own practice. Why do I do the things I do? How can I have forgotten that much information in such a short time (it was only 3 years since my Royal College Exam!!). It is a great motivator to continue to learn when you fear that you might look like an idiot in front of a student. Teaching forces you to stay current and in the know.
Finally, there are the other perks. I have met students who, like me, are Celiacs and are constantly in search for great Gluten Free recipes. It has been great to bond with those people and swap stories and recipes (gotta love networking, however it happens ;) ). And, last but not least, I have been nominated for Teacher of the Year in Regina!!!!!! I love to teach, but was always worried I wasn't any good. You know, sometimes you just aren't into it. Just like sometimes they aren't into learning, I get it. So, to even have the priviledge of being nominated is so incredibly flattering. When I heard that, it just made my day! Heck, I could ride that wave for months!

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