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Author: Nikki Abela / Editor: Charlotte Davies / Codes: SLO1, SLO6, SLO9, SuC12 / Published: 05/05/2020

Welcome to the first of our virtual monthly teaching sessions. This is something we have organised in the North West for higher trainees who all get a teaching day a month to cover some curriculum topics, and we thought we’d share what we’ve done with the RCEM Community. This month, teaching was meant to be a surgical month with abdominal pain and rectal conditions.

With the pandemic upon us, we have been looking at flexible ways to ensure training continues.

Nothing defines Emergency Medicine more than the ability to “Keep Calm and Carry On” and we will rise to the challenge to make sure you don’t miss out on learning opportunities.


I don’t know about you, but the number of Covid-type emails/social media updates has had me feeling a bit overwhelmed. I feel like I’m not sure what to read or listen to, so you’re in for a treat as I have done the digging for you.

You will be also happy to know that this session is not only Covid-19 focused, as patients are still getting sick “of the usual stuff”, so I’ve stuck to the agenda and split the session into two – the first part is surgical topics and the second part is Covid-19 with some wellbeing and difficult discussions/debrief thrown in because it sounds like we will need it. There is no paediatrics in this session as it is next month’s topic.

If you haven’t read the excellent RCEMLearning blog on COVID-19 yet, please do take some time to have a look.

The content type varies because I know different people like to learn in different ways, so we have some videos, podcasts, blogs, reference sessions and some SAQs to test our knowledge (and possibly learn something new).

Please take some time to reflect on the content you read, listen and watch as that will be your virtual “certificate” on e-portfolio. The timing it takes for you to read or listen to something is completely flexible and I’ve added some extra time onto there to allow for reflection. 

Of course, this can never replace our face to face teaching, especially the social element of it, so to replace our watercooler conversations (or rather, coffee refill catchups), we have created a WhatsApp group for the day it is scheduled, which you can host in your area, or have a good old gab on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. 

Be in touch if you want to get involved or feel it can be improved.

Sending a socially-distant hug,



Time Topic Description
20 min Lower GI Bleeding RCEMLearning Podcast on the British Society of Gastroenterology’s guideline on lower GI bleeding
1 hour Anorectal disease RCEMLearning reference section on Anorectal disease presentations in the ED.
1 hour Acute Mesenteric Ischemia-The Acute Abdomen-Rectal Bleeding  Three sets of blogs on the teachmesurgery.com website 
25min Renal Colic RCEMLearning discussion on the 2019 NICE Renal Colic Guidelines

Rare cause of abdominal pain

Precious Stones

In, out, hold

AAA ultrasound

A few RCEMlearning SAQs on Abdominal Pain
1 hour COVID-19 podcast RCEMLearning’s latest monthly podcast covering – COVID-19- Debriefing- Talking about dying- Covid-19 ventilation 
45 min ICU for the non-intensivist St.Emlyns podcast with ICU tips for those not used to working there
45 min Lung Ultrasound St.Emlyns blog on Lung US in Covid-19
25 min Fear and Anxiety Understanding Fear and Anxiety around Covid-19
15min Understanding emotions Vimeo and blog on understanding emotions in this crazy time