26 episodes

Students and young medics need to learn a lot to become good doctors - we're here to talk about the things that medical school doesn't teach you. Brought to you by The BMJ student.

Sharp Scratch BMJ Group

    • Science

Students and young medics need to learn a lot to become good doctors - we're here to talk about the things that medical school doesn't teach you. Brought to you by The BMJ student.

    What to wear on the wards

    What to wear on the wards

    **This podcast was recorded before the extraordinary circumstances due to the covid-19 outbreak.**

    Picking out clothes to wear on the wards is less straightforward than you might think. This week, we talk balancing fashion and function, the perils of noisy shoes, and the best colour shirts to wear if you're a nervous sweater...

    This week's expert guest

    Dr Devina Maru is a GP specialty registrar in London, who has loved fashion from a young age, having grown up with a grandfather who is a tailor and a cousin who is an international fashion designer. You can follow her on Twitter: @Devina_Maru

    To read the BMA's dress code click here. (https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/contracts/consultant-contracts/dress-codes)

    • 39 min


    Anxiety's a natural part of life - under certain circumstances. And we know that med students and junior docs are more likely than other groups to suffer from anxiety disorders and depression. This week, the Sharp Scratch team talk about their anxieties, and hear from some expert guests on how we can manage anxiety day to day, and how to recognise when we might need a little extra help.

    This week's expert guests and contributors:

    Dr Stania Kamara is an ST6 Specialist Registrar in Forensic Psychiatry, and current Medical Director's Clinical Fellow at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges with NHS England and NHS Improvement. She is passionate about trying to improve access to good quality mental health care across the globe and has worked to develop services and build the capacity of the mental health workforce in a number in number of low and middle income countries. In 2015 she was shortlisted for the Royal College of Psychiatrists Core Trainee of the Year award and awarded the Queen's medal for service during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

    Stephen Buckley is Head of Information at Mind, the mental health charity.

    For the resources Stephen mentions, check out the Mind website.

    If you are struggling with anxiety, you can get help by contacting your GP, university services or local services.

    If you need someone to talk to, one to one and confidentially, you can call the Samaritans for free at 116 123. Find more information on their website.

    • 36 min
    Yvonne Coghill is trying to fix racism in the NHS

    Yvonne Coghill is trying to fix racism in the NHS

    In this week's special episode of Sharp Scratch, we've got something a little different for you! Last week the panel talked microaggressions, so this week we're hearing from an expert guest who is leading the work the NHS is doing to combat inequality in healthcare.

    If you like this special edition, let us know on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #SharpScratch

    This week's special guest:

    Yvonne Coghill, CBE is the director of Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) at NHS England and NHS Improvement. Yvonne has over 20 years’ experience in nursing, before taking up operational and strategic leadership posts.

    During her 40 plus years career, she has held a wide variety of clinical and managerial roles at the Department for Health and NHS Leadership Academy. In 2013 she was voted by colleagues in the NHS as one of the top 50 most inspirational women, one of the top 50 most inspirational nurse leaders and one of the top 50 black and minority ethnic (BME) pioneers, two years in a row.

    In July 2015 Yvonne joined NHS England as director for WRES Implementation. She was awarded an Order of the British Empire for services to healthcare in 2010 and Commander of the British Empire in 2018. Yvonne was elected deputy president of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in November 2018.

    Some of the resources Yvonne mentions during the interview:




    • 48 min
    Racism in medicine

    Racism in medicine

    In an episode to coincide with The BMJ's themes issue on racism in medicine, this week we talk people getting your name wrong, other microaggressions, and how racism can literally break your heart. We also hear from Professor David Williams on the physiological impact of discrimination and being a person with prejudices.

    You can hear David's full interview in The BMJ podcast.

    This week's expert contributor:

    David Williams is a Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as a Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University.

    His research has focussed on the health effects of racial discrimination, as well as the public health implications of marginalisation.

    • 42 min
    Working with patients

    Working with patients

    Every day hundreds of patients give up their time to help train medical students. Some work closely with medical schools, as expert patients who lead hands on teaching sessions, or helping develop the curriculum. As medics, we rely on the good will of patients for our learning. But what's it really like to be a patient who's used as a learning opportunity? This week, we speak to three patients who have experienced just this - and find out the key things to avoid doing and saying!

    Our expert guests and contributors:

    Amy Price is a research scientist at Stanford University and part of The BMJ Patient advisory panel. She has worked closely with medical students in a number of different settings.

    Mike Scott is a member of the Patient Educator team at King's College London School of Medicine, where he's been examined by many medical students as part of his work.

    Sarah Markham is a mathematician, a researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience. She's a member of The BMJ Patient advisory panel and has lived experience of inpatient mental health services, throughout which she interacted with many medical students.

    If you'd like to read Ruth Tapp's piece that Anna mentions, you can find it on BMJ.com

    • 35 min
    Working with the multidisciplinary team

    Working with the multidisciplinary team

    We've spoken before on Sharp Scratch about how med students and junior docs can make friends with more senior doctors (like in episode two, when we talked about referrals). But there's a host of other professionals that work together to make patient care safe and effective - the multidisciplinary team - and we want to be friends with them too.

    As a medical student you often only get a short amount of time on a new ward, so this week we're talking about how we can make sure we build good relationships with the rest of the team, as quickly as possible.

    Our expert guests and contributors:

    Helga Lawrence is a student mental health nurse at Anglia Ruskin University. This week we chat with her about the annoyance of having medical students on the ward, and how a student nurse could be your best friend on placement.

    Wendy Preston is a Consultant Nurse in respiratory medicine and is Head of Nursing Practice at The Royal College of Nursing. You can find her on Twitter.

    Carolyn Cairns was previously a manager in the NHS, but is now a second year medical student! She's on Twitter.

    If you're interested in the work done by Civility Saves Lives, you can find out more at their website.

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

Jo_katie ,

Brilliant insight

I’m an aspiring med student (applying for a graduate course) and this podcast has been brilliant to give an insight to medical school as well as life as a junior doctor with all the topics that aren’t normally talked about. Thank you so much for all your hard work and great guests with open and candid discussions.

Loke Mun ,

Thoughtful and insightful - great for all medics

When I started listening, I expected a bit of banter, some dark humour, and topical discussions. I did get a bit of banter, but, more importantly, thoughtful takes on very real topics that affect students and junior doctors. It is tailored to the medical student context, recognising that we often have less say in the clinical environment; that our clinical rotations do not always give us enough time to learn how the hospital works (how do you bleep someone? aren't pagers obsolete?).

In each episode, students chat with more experienced doctors to get their take and stories of what works and what doesn't. It seems each episode is intentionally practical, as compared to only teaching what should be best practice - and each episode has "practice-changing" pointers. Bite-size, easy to listen - I wish I'd listened to this before starting clinical years...

Bobbyg101 ,

Fantastic work!

Brilliant job on the podcast everyone. Engaging topics, good guests and hosts. Great production quality too, really enjoying this addition to my podcast library

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