“See One. Do One. Teach One.” It’s an adage that’s been used in the medical industry for eons. Anyone who’s been through medical school or through a hospital rotation has heard it at least once along the way. Having been studying and working in the industry for a little over a decade, I’ve personally heard and employed this approach to my experience at least on a weekly basis. While still relevant in the current climate of the field, it is in definite need of a change. Passing on the knowledge only goes so far and there is no continuity; our industry needs to rethink its approach to medical and healthcare practice and add to it while simultaneously forming a continuum, constantly closing the loop. “See One. Do One. Teach One. Reach One.” feels more like it.
Seeing a procedure, a process being performed helps to familiarise oneself with the process. Seeing it done not only helps us to realise that what we may have deemed difficult can be done, it also serves as an impetus to learn more about it and topics related to it. Reading instruction manuals and textbooks are limited by static images and depictions, and video footage in their optimal form merely the scratch the surface of the visual dimension of a procedure. Witnessing a procedure engages all the senses of the observer and allows him/her to interact with the operator, ask questions and glean as much as possible from the encounter.
Doing a procedure brings an added dimension to the experience. Personal encounters with a new process or new procedure brings with a heightened awareness – having to know for oneself the indications, alternative options, risks and benefits helps broaden our knowledge base and gives us drive to knowing our target audience. Having to learn the procedure through available channels such as text, video and/or past observations brings some visual familiarity and puts the steps of the process in the forefront of one’s mind. The actual execution of the task turns the gleaned theories and observations into a live engaging exercise, cementing one’s research into memory and then into learning and simultaneously bringing a sense of responsibility and accomplishment.
Teaching a learned procedure further engages the mind as a professional; drawing on read knowledge and personal experience to counsel a fellow colleague refreshes the mind while challenging us to examine the procedure from a different perspective. The shift from student to teacher helps us to find ways to impart one’s expertise on a fellow colleague and challenge his/her understanding before, during and after the procedure.
Reaching out to one’s younger colleagues closes the loop and encourages continued learning and growth for oneself and for those in our tutelage. Through the offering of mentorship, support and counsel, the medical/healthcare community encourages a sense of solidarity and helps us to nurture our upcoming generations. In the same way, the culture of mentorship fosters that same form of unity in our juniors and promotes their love of the profession, which also helps to bring future generations to the call of our growing, changing industry.
The medical and healthcare industry, although steeped in centuries of tradition and axiomatic principle, is now experiencing major changes along with other industries in the world. These changes make it necessary to break the box in which our industry has been perpetually enclosed, which means our fundamental approach needs to be modified. See – do – teach – reach encourages the circle of learning and perpetuates it across our current and future generations of industry professionals. With all the changes that our industry has seen and will continue, it feels like this small tweak in our approach may be the ideal fit for our field.
See. Do. Teach. Reach.