Evaluation. Feedback. Briefly a novelty, then a chore, then overkill. Thus the attitude of the average student to giving feedback changes. Can a consultant session really be rated on a 1-5 scale? Does the consultant read it anyway?
We're well used to feedback at CMF. Student Conference generates plenty (yes, we do read it all…). Much of it is really helpful. We present a selection of this year's on p32. But we have to remember that it is from the perspective of that particular attendee. If they're from Keele, of course they are going to say that the venue in Staffordshire is convenient. The person who found the talks too simple may have studied the subject in question at theological college before medical school, and might not be the best yardstick when many others clearly struggled to follow. If 20 people say the band was too loud and 20 comment how quiet it was, we probably set the volume control about right!
The problem with most feedback is that it is all about our experience of a particular teaching session, process or job. We might not like the amount of pre-assessment clerking in our first surgical post, but someone needs to do the work. More opportunities to sit in gastroenterology clinic would be great, but how might that feel to the patient faced with a panel of six students as they arrive for an appointment?
The culture of feeding back on everything can encourage us to see our study and work entirely from our own perspective, perhaps reflecting wider society.
This edition of Nucleus looks at work, particularly in healthcare. We've tried to reverse perspectives, looking from God's view, not our own. Our major articles look at the underlying theology behind work (p4), how this looks both in the NHS (p14) and in studying (p17), and at the effect of work on us (p8). We also consider the place of prayer in a busy medical life (p20) and the oft-ignored question of sabbath rest (p26).
The Mythbusters article will be the first of an occasional series that gives you the tools to debunk common sayings that you may often hear on the wards, but which have no basis in fact. Writing one of these articles is a good way to learn to evaluate evidence as well as helping your fellow students. Could you be the next author? If so, send your offering to us at: email@example.com. If you fancy something a little lighter, why not contribute a story to the Mad Moments page, and both entertain and warn your colleagues?
We're delighted that John Martin, CMF's Head of Communications, has been able to share some of his personal experience of Billy Graham's ministry in an extra Heroes + Heretics piece (p40). There probably won't be another quite like Billy Graham, who died earlier this year, but we all have something to learn from his clear message, meticulous planning, and understanding of the urgency of bringing Jesus' message to those who haven't heard.Our 'labour in the Lord is not in vain' (1 Corinthians 15:58).