PTC blog - August 2020
20 August, 2020
As I approach my last few weeks as chair of the PTC it’s time for me to follow the lead of our dean, Dr Kate Lovett and do some reflection! Perhaps Gibbs’ cycle could help me frame my paragraphs?
I’ve been chair of the Psychiatric Trainees’ Committee for just over 11 months and finish my term on Friday 4 th September. I’ve been involved in trainee matters across the College and beyond as well as through COVID-19.
What were you thinking and feeling?
I feel deeply humbled by the kind, courteous and respectful way I’ve been treated by everyone throughout the College. I’ve been encouraged and supported to speak up; frequently and where ever this was needed. I’ve been overwhelmed by the dedication of all my fellow trainees in the PTC, who work tirelessly for all of us to ensure your views are represented, and the quality of training constantly improves and evolves. I am an awe of you all as psychiatry trainees; your flexibility in the face of COVID-19; the way you’ve felt the fear and yet got on with the job anyway; the ingenuity in addressing all the many challenges; the deep, deep wells of empathy and compassion you have shown towards each other and our patients.
What was good and bad about the experience?
The good: The opportunity to represent trainee views and to be heard; welcoming new colleagues as part of the College new members’ ceremony; getting to meet lots of fellow psychiatrists and absorb their experiences, knowledge and wisdom; and of course making some real good friends along the way! More recently, chairing the trainee matters webinar with over 900 live participants and the exams webinar with over 1000 live views. It’s a good job I don’t get stage fright!
The not so good: I’ve got so much to learn still about prioritisation; so much! Plus my old friend imposter syndrome followed me around all the time!
What sense can you make of the experience?
The College is full of likeminded colleagues striving to deliver better training, better support for all psychiatrists and better mental health for all. This is enabled by strong College values and delivered by many incredible people at 21 Prescot Street. All that has been achieved by the PTC in the last 11 months; regular trainee newsletters; the COVID ARCP guide; QI guide; the two most popular webinars (not that we’re competitive); as well as representing trainees from each of the devolved nations on over 40 committees in and outside of College, has been possible only through massive team effort and never by one person alone. I have been so very lucky to have such great fellow colleagues on the PTC including officers Luke, Rosemary and Laura, to whom I am incredibly indebted.
What do you need to improve on?
Well, a lot really. I need to recognise when to delegate and do this more, and be prepared to escalate concerns as soon as they are raised. Sometimes I need to have faith in knowing the College will deliver – as it has done many times. I also need to stop and have a greater awareness on when what I am experiencing is simply my own anxiety, acknowledge this, then move on and get the job done.
How will I improve?
I will reflect (no joke). I will seek to encourage others to speak up about training and support the psychiatrists of tomorrow. I will continue to feel the fear and do it anyway. I will take the inspiration from all the incredible people I’ve
met over the past year to strive to be a better doctor. I will continue to have utter faith in the power of Team Psychiatry.
Now to just copy and paste this into my portfolio, surely no one will notice…
Dr Ross Runciman
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Dr Laura Stevenson
Dr Rosemary Gordon
Dr Luke Baker