Sustainability scholar leading in education
26 March, 2018
One of our RCPsych scholars, Jamie Richardson, has been leading the way with ensuring that learning about sustainable healthcare is available to all psychiatrists:
I have been one of the two sustainability scholars working at the College for the last year. In previous years the scholars have worked on local projects, but this is the first year we have worked directly with the College on sustainability scholarships. As well as attending the sustainability committee, I have been spending my weekly special interest day working on a project for the College with a sustainability theme.
My project have been focussing on integrating ideas related to sustainability into the educational life of the College. This has taken two different, but connected approaches;
Firstly I was involved in proposing changes to the College curriculum to including sustainability as intended learning outcomes. Focussing on the core curriculum initially, I searched the curriculum as it stands looking for areas which include sustainability already, and areas which could easily be changed or adapted to do so. This led to the production of a proposal document with potential changes to the curriculum, including three specific areas where I felt effective changes could be implemented. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the College curriculum committee to present my proposal, giving me a valuable opportunity to experience a College committee meeting first hand, and to present my case for change to the members.
The second element of my work, and my current focus, is writing an online teaching module on sustainability as part of the CPD online system. The College has approved the inclusion of a sustainability module into the CPD online collection, and I have been working on creating the initial draft of the document for inclusion. Although I have reasonable experience in producing and giving presentations as teaching, I have found the approach needed to write the module more challenging and stimulating than I expected. Aside from getting to grips with the material available on sustainability, I have also had to adapt my writing style to make sure I am able to clearly express my points in a written format without the opportunity to explain my thought process to the potential module users in person. The initial draft is nearing completion, and following this I shall be liaising with colleagues on the committee and further afield to provide multimedia for inclusion to improve the interactive experience of the module.
Although more half way through the scholarship year, I still have much to look forward to before I finish. I hope the module shall be completed shortly, and I will also be returning to the curriculum changes to see what progress has been made there. As well as the summer sustainability committee meeting at the College, I am due to attend the medical psychotherapy conference in Cardiff to represent the committee on the sustainability stand. For those of you attending the conference please feel free to come and talk to me about sustainability in mental health and the work the committee is doing at the College.
I applied to be a sustainability scholar at the College as sustainability and the environment are particular interests of mine, and have certainly had opportunities to expand my understanding of the concepts and the solutions to making a more sustainable healthcare system. What I did not necessarily expect, was the opportunities I have had beyond my projects, for example at committee meetings, which has given me a greater understanding of not just sustainability, but also the running of the College and the healthcare system more broadly.
Dr Jamie Richardson
MBBS MSc MRCPsych
Dr Daniel Maughan
RCPsych Associate Registrar in Sustainability
Consultant Psychiatrist, Early Intervention Service, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust