Airway is among other things a forum for emergency doctors to tell stories in front of a live audience. Why stories? Why Emergency Medicine?
Because ER doctors have the best stories. And because there is something about telling stories that helps us do the work that we do.
We tell stories to explain and understand what has happened to us, and in listening to stories, we absorb their assumptions and their inherent messages. We learn how to think about the world. We learn different ways to think about our work. Storytelling is the original means of communicating and organizing experience.
Stories can reveal and perpetuate the attitudes of cynicism and self-preservation that constitute the hidden curriculum of medicine, or can be a vehicle for inspiration and professional self-renewal. Hearing our common experiences reflected in other people’s stories eases the isolation of medical training common among residents. All of these proposed benefits support wellness, increase resilience, and improve our ability to cope with the stresses of training and medical practice.