The joys of training!

Roughly two months ago, I had a clear plan for the 2017/18 academic year. I wanted to intercalate in global health, and use my spare time to re-acquaint myself with much missed old hobbies, and start some new ones. In short, a year for some much need self-care; to reflect, refocus and recharge for the last few years of medical school.

So what changed?

I did some of that reflection early. I realised that every time I went to a Medsin event, I got the feelings I wanted to have at the end of next year. I came home energised and inspired. I realised the same had happened when I attended Medsin conferences over the year. At a local and national level, Medsin has made my year. Moreover, what had kick-started this was Training New Trainers, all the way back in October.

Training New Trainers (TNT) is a packed peer-led training weekend that focuses on personal development, communication and leadership. It improved my skills as both a leader and team player, as well as boosting my confidence in my ability to teach and run training sessions. I came away from TNT and did just that; delivering training focussed on giving individuals tools to protect their mental health.

I enjoyed the process of delivery training so much that with a bit of encouragement, I put in a hesitant application for Training Director; to be heard at the Spring General Assembly.

So why do I like training so much?

I feel that the network has given me a lot; and training allows me to give back to it. I also get to interact with people who I may never have talked to at the whirlwinds that are Medsin conferences. I love the process of adjusting my sessions based upon feedback, delivering them and then redesigning them again. My favourite part of training is the discussions that occur. Open, honest and positive discussions between individuals that result in a better session than you could ever design yourself. I always leave a training session with multiple ways to improve it; and in the case of the mental health sessions, new ways to maintain my own mental health.

So what’s my new plan?

Intercalate in global health, and use most of my spare time in the role of Training Director. Rather than take up new hobbies, I’ve taken on a few new projects. Over the year I’d like to run successful TNTs that educate and inspire action and deeper involvement in the network. I’d also like to continue my work from this year; and collaborate with others to develop training resources and awareness in time for Mental Health Awareness Day on the 10th October 2017; perhaps focussing on how people can support friends and loved ones who have difficulties with their mental health. Moreover, I want to help ensure the success of our Global Health into Schools Project by helping to ensure the standards of teaching we provide.

Don’t worry, I still plan on taking up a new hobby. Rugby anyone?

by Eleanor Parkhill

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