Inspiration comes from the strangest places. Yes, I studied English and Philosophy as an undergrad, but I wouldn’t have considered iambic pentameter as a tool for EM education. Then again, if you asked me whether I preferred a mnemonic to a good limerick for remembering important information I would definitely take the limerick.
Then I stumbled upon a beautifully creative new app from Doormouse mfg, that recreates the beauty and imperfections of an old-fashioned Remington on your iPhone. Go to their website and check out the creativity of some of the cards in their gallery. Here are some of my favorites to give you an idea of how creative people can be if given the tools to play with.
Once I bought the app for myself, I was addicted, and couldn’t put it down. I started sending type-writer notes on the app’s “high quality card stock” to people, and was amazed at the responses and positive comments I received. There is something elusive and fascinating about what sticks in our brains and what passes through unnoticed.
Why my next thought was Emergency Medicine notecards made in this fashion deserve to be in verse I can’t explain. But here we are. This card is based on a study by K. Inaba & Co about chest tube size in trauma.
So here’s the deal. Each card embodies some key concept from a recent paper in the EM literature I’ve read. Usually, it will be in verse, but not always (now that I’m a temperamental artist a can’t be bound by such rules) Click on the card and go to my shared Evernote folder where the reference literature from which the questionable gobbet of educational doggerel was created a gallery of similar cards are available. I’ll keep adding them as long as the Bard continues to inspire.
Type written cards in verse may not be the answer to all your learning needs, and if you recite them on rounds you may get odd looks, but you can be comforted by the fact that any step closer to the company of William or e.e cummings, and away from Powerpoint is a good one.
PS. if you want to try your hand at a few of these cards yourself just download the app, email your cards to me, and I’ll add them to the collection. I’m sure a “Selected Works of Poetry in Emergency Medicine” is just a few lyrical verses away.