Each month we profile one of our fantastic postgraduate tutors. August sees the turn of Dr Catriona Barr, a consultant anaesthetist and tutor for the MSc Paediatric Emergency Medicine.
Q&A with Catriona Barr
1. How long have you been a tutor on the programme? Are you currently working outside of the programme and if so, in what capacity?
I completed my time on the Masters programme in June 2019 and started as Tutor in February 2020. Initially I was working with a tutor who was about to take leave, then took over a tutor group from them. I also work as a consultant anaesthetist in Shetland, which as you will know is a very remote part of Scotland.
2. Which courses do you teach on the MSc Paediatric Emergency Medicine?
I teach Fundamentals in Paediatric Emergency Medicine 1, 2 and 3. These courses focus on paediatric physiology, pathophysiology, and ethics and resuscitation in paediatric emergency care. The course is completely on line however the students learn together through participating in discussion boards, weekly exercises, and a major assignment.
3. Why do you feel that Paediatric Emergency Medicine is an important medical specialty?
Children make up a fifth of the population and present in a wide variety of ways in an emergency department. The reasons for these presentations may relate to infection, congenital problems, trauma, malignancy and a wide range of presentations relating to neglect and abuse. Diagnosis, management and prevention of further illness or injury is a key part of paediatric emergency work, and as such is key to the health of whole communities going forwards.
4. Would you recommend online learning to other health professionals? If yes, why?
Yes, absolutely: the online world has no boundaries and no borders. Across the world health professionals have amassed a body of experience and knowledge which can be shared during online learning. They have access to a huge online library, optional online courses (eg how to do a literature search), a personal tutor and the course materials. Most of all they have the mental stimulus of 'meeting' and studying with a wide variety of colleagues across many specialities and healthcare systems who share an interest in learning.
5. What is your favourite aspect of being a tutor on the programme?
I have only been teaching on the course for a few months, and because of the pandemic they have been challenging months for students and faculty alike. I have been very impressed by the flexibility with which the students have approached their studies, despite these challenges. I have learned a lot from them and it has been a privilege to see them develop their ideas and increase their knowledge- as they in their turn have increased mine!