Qing Yang: Learning Real Life Skills Through Sim

Blog - Qing Yang: Learning Real Life Skills Through Sim

Qing Yang is a resident in Anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. She spent the month of May at the Center for Medical Simulation (CMS) on an elective rotation. The goal of the rotation program is to expose residents to the potential and operational use of simulation for education, clinical training and research. Over the course of the month, residents develop simulation scenarios including patient records, plot, setup, debriefing notes, and references.

“For the past few weeks, I’ve been learning non-stop at the Center for Medical Simulation (CMS) and applying the knowledge to real life. No, I don’t mean how to diagnose pneumothorax or the boxes to check on the PEA algorithm. Not even the three-part speech to solicit assent and collaboration when I declare myself to manage a clinical crisis. I mean, real… life… stuff!

While at home the evening after Rebecca Minehart (@RDMinehart) spoke about the four types of listening, I asked my daughter about her day at school. Using what I learned, we went over how she can use different listening techniques to take instructions from the teacher, how to count the “likes” and “ums” in her speech, and what questions to ask to discover who really took whose snack at recess. Rebecca’s behavioral insights continue to enhance my parenting skills.

Listening to  Dan Raemer (@danbraemer) recount how he used  Advocacy-Inquiry while teaching his teenage daughter to drive (e.g., “I saw you slam on the break at the intersection. I think that’s dangerous and could cause whiplash injury. I wonder what was going on?”), I make a mental note to use this approach when my daughter learns to drive. A few hours later, as my mother declares her interest in hauling all of my used furniture to her Pennsylvania home as I wind down my residency in Boston, I find myself using Advocacy- Inquiry skills to reply,  “I hear you say that you want everything moved. I think that could be inefficient because it costs more to hire a moving truck than what my stuff is worth. Help me understand what you are thinking.” In this scenario, I did my best to focus only on the objective facts and not  insert preconceived biases about her hoarding tendencies. I shared my perspective hoping it would come across as “good judgment.”

When Mary Fey (@marykfey) walked us through the Ladder of Inference,  it dawned on me what my partner has been telling me all these years, “Qing, you jump to conclusions very quickly.” I now acknowledge that there are many nuances to the inferences drawn in any given circumstance. To my credit, I have tried not to take immediate action. We are still together, and I appreciate how he can see exactly where I am on the ladder and guide me back down to the evidence collection in the “ocean of data.”

Typically, I don’t share this much about my personal life in blog posts. However, I feel particularly inspired by how the learning at CMS has brought incredibly valuable perspectives to me in both clinical and personal settings. By learning how to see and understand other people’s frames of mind, I’ve become more acutely aware of my own. Life is a reflective process, and sometimes, sim is the mirror we need.”

-Qing Yang, MD