Dr Lois brand
Consultant in Emergency Medicine
Walsgrave Emergency Department
What does a typical day/week involve?
I work part time ~2/3rds time. 2/3rds of my working time is clinical work in the emergency department which involves seeing pts, running the trauma team, supervising and teaching juniors and medical students in the department, doing the Obs Ward round etc. There are two consultants in the department during the day, and a third consultant comes on to do the evening shift.
The rest of my time is spent teaching students and organizing the delivery of the 3/52 Emergency Block SSM that all final year students do. I also have to do regular appraisals with junior doctors in the dept and I mentor a small group of medical students.
What are the best and worst aspects to your job?
I love the variety of the job – you never know what will be coming through the door next! As a student and junior doctor my least favourite pastime was routine clinics – in this job I do none! I really enjoy the teaching side of my job – the emergency department can be a great learning environment for students and the Warwick medical students (so far!) are a particularly rewarding bunch to teach.
When the department is heaving and there’s nowhere to see new patients and there are patients on trolleys in corridors of the department, it can be very stressful. Working in the evenings and being on call on site overnight is not great but we now get the day off after being on the previous night (great for shopping!). It can be frustrating not to know what happens to your patients – you rarely get time to follow a patient up after they’ve left the dept. Sometimes I wish that I worked in a nice clean, controlled quiet environment but I know that I’d be bored!
What are the main specialist areas within your field?
You can specialise in paediatric emergency medicine. Some people get dual accreditation in ITU or acute medicine with A&E. Within the group of 12 consultants each has an area of specialist interest eg research, prehospital care, undergraduate teaching etc.
What other specialties complement your own specialty?
We work closely with all acute specialities in the hospital. The trauma team is made up of a general surgeon, an orthopaedic surgeon and an anaesthetist as well as ED doctors. We work alongside the medical team on take, and frequently with the ITU team.
What personal qualities are desirable for your field of expertise?
Ability to keep calm in a crisis! Ability to cope with working in a difficult physical environment at times. Perfectionists would find this job hard I think! You need to have good communication skills – can be particularly important when liaising with different specialities!
Do you know the new training structure for your specialty post foundation programme? Or where/when this information will be available?
The MFAEM exam is now the favoured entry route to HST in Emergency Medicine. It is a tough exam – on a parr with MRCP etc. You can also enter HST in EM via MRCP or MRCS. More information is available on the British Association of Emergency Medicine (BAEM) website: