#TipsforNewDocs – collating and sharing simple tips and words of wisdom for Foundation Doctors

The August changeover is an exciting, but anxiety-inducing time for newly qualified doctors. In this work, Jordan Napier explores a novel method for “pearls of wisdom” to pass from their senior colleagues.

The FY1s are given a great deal of information in their induction for their first medical post, including training on IT systems, orientation to the health board’s various policies and other important corporate training.

However, we wanted to collect some simple and valuable words of wisdom from a range of different people and professions to help get our FY1s off to a good start.

Induction and shadowing is a valuable time for FY1s and for the health boards that they will be working in, and sometimes the amount of information given in the first week can be overwhelming. Even though the information given is very important, we noticed that some of the simpler, but equally important, information was only shared with the FY1s on an ad hoc basis from colleagues.

A few years ago a hashtag on Twitter was created (#TipsforNewDocs) which collated tips and advice from a variety of healthcare professionals, patients and carers. In particular, more senior healthcare professionals shared what they wish they’d been told when they first started their medical career.

We created an online pin-board on the Padlet platform (Padlet.com) entitled ‘Top Tips for New Doctors’ and made the page public. This allows anyone to pin a virtual Post-it note to the page with their advice. At the top of the page is the question: ‘What are your top tips for our new FY1s starting this August?’

The link to the page was circulated to all Teaching Leads in NHS Tayside, all Medical School staff, and all doctors in training working in Tayside, as well as being shared on Twitter (using the established hashtag) and on the NHS Tea & Empathy Facebook page (an online peer support group for NHS staff).

The Padlet page was monitored daily to ensure that all posts were helpful and relevant (no posts required removing).

63 people have contributed to the Padlet with a range of tips. Listed below are the main themes:

• Look after yourself first
• Ask for help when you’re struggling
• Use other members of the multidisciplinary team to help you
• Take your breaks and eat and drink sufficiently

The individual posts were incorporated into a video resource using the Lumen5 platform (Lumen5.com) and this video was played to all new FY1s in NHS Tayside at the start of their induction session in shadowing week.

Even though we want our new doctors to do all the things listed above (look after themselves, ask for help, take breaks, etc), this is something we don’t always explicitly state. This exercise allowed us to collate advice from a range of people, and share these tips at the very beginning of the FY1s time with us in NHS Tayside.

We will continue to sign post the Padlet page to our Foundation Doctors throughout the year.

We have had some feedback that the Padlet page is not accessible on the version of Google Chrome used by NHS Tayside, so we will look into this for next year.

See then Padlet page here: https://padlet.com/paintnothing/tipsfornewdocs

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