Wellness Week

Dear students! This week is exceptional for all emergency medicine professionals. EMERGENCY MEDICINE WELLNESS WEEK (EMWW).

EMWW is created by ACEP to remind emergency physicians and their colleagues “we are human, we should take care of ourselves, self-renew, enjoy life.”

It is also crucial for medical students. Your health is most important! Taking care of yourselves is your priority. Therefore, eat well, sleep well and be physically active while you are in medical school. Learn healthy lifestyle now and apply it.

If you do not know and apply healthy lifestyles, how you can stay healthy, and more importantly, how you can convince your patients to change their lifestyle.

ACEP has many recommendations

Increase healthy food intake – such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, water

Eat breakfast

Drink less alcohol and/or coffee

Lose 1 pound or 0.5 kilogram – Hint: don’t forget to track your progress and report at the end of EM Wellness Week

Try a new and fun healthy food

Keep track of steps (or miles) with set pre-determined daily goal

Try new type of exercise you might enjoy – yoga, Zumba, circuit training, spin, a new sport – Hint: Some local gyms, yoga studios or sports classes will let you try their service for a 1-week trial in conjunction with EM Wellness Week

Self-monitor your personal wellness

Sleep in blocks of at least 3 to 4 hours, with 1 or 2 blocks per 24-hour period to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep

Work with your scheduler to initiate rotating shifts in a clockwise manner for scheduling caregivers that work a variety of shift times

Set the alarm to GO TO bed

Create a better sleep environment (such as a quiet and cool room, white noise, room-darkening shades, sign on the door that says “day sleeper”)

Sleep with your partner

Stop smoking

Write a letter to someone you want to thank, or offer an apology, then personally deliver the letter

Write a simple thank you note to someone

Have dinner with your family or friend(s) and turn off all electronic devices during the meal

Surprise call or visit someone you care about and could like to reconnect with, “if only you had time.”

Reconnect with places or people that inspire you spiritually

Spiritual involvement with your faith

Learn to meditate: use online resources or take a class

Take mindfulness training – https://www.fammed.wisc.edu/mindfulness

Volunteer to do something for which you have a passion

Find something outside patient care where you can recharge and recuperate

Write down something you are grateful for each morning

Improve the work environment
Structure an action at work to improve the work environment in the trenches

Participate in conflict resolution training

Develop negotiation skills

Decrease litigation stress

Decrease burnout
Make a connection to your purpose in caring for patients.

Tap into the power and endurance associated with this connection.

Plan and set a date for international volunteer trip with an opportunity to “give back.”

Each day write out one reason you chose Emergency Medicine as your career

Initiate a healthy boundary between work and non-work life area

Reach out to a family member or friend with an “ask” for support

Create focus on work activities that provide the most meaning

Develop Leadership Skills
Read a book on leadership

Learn a new leadership tactic

Take a step to move your career forward

Reach out to someone that will help you advance your career – make an appointment with a mentor, coach or career counselor

Agree to mentor someone who can benefit from your coaching or mentorship

Support another caregiver

Other ways to enhance your career
Do self-monitoring on personal wellness (MBI, Jefferson Empathy Scale, Quality of Life Survey)

Retirement planning

Read this amazing source of wellness for emergency physicians. 

Click to reach more resources by ACEP.

We also recommend below post

Happy Wellness Week!

You can download and share below infographic cards on wellness

Kunafa Knife and Play Dough for Ultrasound Training

Around two years ago, Prof. Abu-Zidan came with a plastic triangular shape spatula to one of our morning meetings. He said that

Alper, I found this as cheap as 30 cents each, and I bought 20 of them. There are metals too, but they are used as a Kunafa knife (Kunafa is sweet in middle east region). They are a little bit heavier. Because I want to use this in ultrasound training of 5th-year medical students, I need something light, easy to carry. What do you think?

It was not a surprise for me seeing such a sample proposed from a person who always thinks simple educational options. The process which started that day improved with the addition of play dough into the core discussions. After two years of discussions their values in ultrasound skills education, we wrote a methodology paper which accepted by World Journal of Emergency Surgery with unexpectedly valued comments by reviewers [1].

You can download this article from here.

As a bottom line, this article says there is no need for expensive simulators for ultrasound training. The tools which can be created less than 10 USD and used repeatedly can help to teach ultrasound enjoyably and effectively, especially in the limited resourced settings.

Triangular shaped Kunafa knife is the almost identical reflection of the view of the ultrasound on the screen. The thickness of the knife represents the 1 mm slice of the actual image that we see on the screen. 

Students understand the actual views and windows easily while they fan or tilt the knife. In addition to this practice, when the play dough added, the joy starts. Students create normal and pathologic anatomical samples and apply different angles with their triangular shape knife. This practice helps them to understand more about the image that they acquire on the screen. Then, real ultrasound practice follows on real patients or human models. You can imagine how it is enjoyable and effective for their learning. One of the advantages of this simple, cheap simulator is that its reusability. Less than 10 USD, but you can use it for 70-100 students during all academic year.

We found only three educational papers/posts about play dough usage for medical education. The first, Dr. Eftekhar and his group published a paper showing effective use of play dough for visualization of complicated cerebral aneurysm anatomy [2]. The second, Dr. Herur and her team published an article regarding play dough modeling of neurologic anatomy by students as an active learning tool [3]. The third, Dr. Adam Bystrzycki used this method to teach heart anatomy in the Echo in Life Support courses [4].

Yes, we enjoyed a lot while we were writing this paper. However, applying and testing it during the sessions was amazing. And, I shared the article in social media which I have no significant number of followers. However, even with this small attempt, we started to hear some feedback, recommendations, and samples shared by other groups and individuals who are using these tools.

Even one of the biggest ultrasound congresses, WINFOCUS, announced that they are going to use these simple teaching tool in their student course the first time.

These are promising news.

The chambers of the heart (Courtesy of Gregor Prosen)

As we all know, radiology and emergency medicine are the two leading specialties that implement ultrasound training into the student curriculum [5, 6]. As the iEM Education project, it is our aim to promote emergency medicine and provide free educational resources. Therefore, we just wanted to share in case you may think to use it in your ultrasound sessions.

This tool is so cheap. It can be created by anyone, anywhere, anytime. We are looking to hear more feedback from world ultrasound experts regarding the effectiveness and joy of this tool.


  1. Abu-Zidan FM, Cevik AA. Kunafa knife and play dough is an efficient and cheap simulator to teach diagnostic Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS). World J Emerg Surg. 2019 Jan 8;14:1. doi: 10.1186/s13017-018-0220-3. eCollection 2019. PubMed  PMID: 30636969; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6325793.
  2. Eftekhar B, Ghodsi M, Ketabchi E, Ghazvini AR. Play dough as an educational tool for visualization of complicated cerebral aneurysm anatomy. BMC Med Educ. 2005 May 10;5(1):15. PubMed PMID: 15885141; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1274244.
  3. Herur A, Kolagi S, Chinagudi S, Manjula R, Patil S. Active learning by play dough modeling in the medical profession. Adv Physiol Educ. 2011 Jun;35(2):241-3. doi: 10.1152/advan.00087.2010. PubMed PMID: 21652511.
  4. Zedu Ultrasound Training Methods. Heart anatomy taught using state of the art methods. Accessed from https://www.ultrasoundtraining.com.au/news/heart-anatomy-taught-using-state-of-the-art-methods, January 9, 2019
  5. Cook T, Hunt P, Hoppman R. (2007) Emergency medicine leads the way for training medical students in clinician-based ultrasound: a radical paradigm shift in patient imaging. Acad Emerg Med. 14(6):558-61. PubMed PMID: 17535978.
  6. Phelps A, Wan J, Straus C, Naeger DM, Webb EM. Incorporation of Ultrasound Education Into Medical School Curricula: Survey of Directors of Medical Student Education in Radiology. Acad Radiol. 2016 Jul;23(7):830-5. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2016.02.012. Epub 2016 Apr 8. PubMed PMID: 27311803.