Why We Feel Frustrated with Our Brains, And How Not To

18sep8:00 pm9:00 pmWhy We Feel Frustrated with Our Brains, And How Not ToVECCS x VIN Webinar

Event Details

By: Rose Nolen-Walston DVM, DACVIM

Description: It’s incredibly hard being a veterinarian, and practicing clinical medicine is one of the highest pressure, high stakes environments out there. Even the most competent, confident veterinarian has days where it feels like nothing is coming together for them. But it turns out that there are functional limitations to how much the brain can do: we’ll discuss cognitive load theory and the myth of multi-tasking, and why feel like our brains fail us sometimes. Then we’ll cover extrinsic and intrinsic cognitive load and go over evidence-based strategies to allow your brain to work at full capacity. Even with that, though, everyone has days where imposter syndrome sneaks up on us (and some of us wish we had even the occasional day where it didn’t!). We’ll delve into why imposter syndrome occurs and how to address it, with a quick tour of the Dunning-Kruger effect. And finally, we’ll discuss the second victim effect, which is the emotional trauma that healthcare providers experience when they make a medical error, and how these factors lead to burnout and compassion fatigue. These problems are endemic, and we’ll finish with how to recognize them, why they occur, and most importantly, how we can find strategies to protect ourselves from them.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:

  1. Why it feels like our brains can’t keep up: how cognitive load theory affects your ability to process high-volume information in a high-stress environment, and how to leverage the theory to become a more efficient, effective clinician and teacher.
  2. Why it feels like our brains can’t keep up: using “deliberate practice theory” as a roadmap to improving expertise, even after years in practice.
  3. Why it feels like we’re not smart enough: examining the interplay of the Dunning-Kruger effect (a cognitive bias in which people wrongly overestimate their knowledge or ability in a specific area) and imposter syndrome (an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you are) is so prevalent in our field, and how we can grow past it.
  4. Why do we feel burned out: how burned out are you, is there a way to measure it? We’ll describe the consequences of burn-out, and what works and what doesn’t, to mitigate burnout and compassion fatigue in clinical medicine.
  5. Why we feel burned out: who is the “second victim” of medical error? It’s the practitioner who made the mistake. What responsibilities do we have to care for the second victims, and what does that look like?

Speaker Info: Rose Nolen-Walston grew up on a farm in England with plans to become a professional dressage rider but a complete lack of talent for the sport led her to veterinary medicine, where she eventually graduated from UGA in 2001 with her DVM. She went on to do an internship and residency in large animal internal medicine at Tufts before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. In 2014 Dr Nolen-Walston won University of Pennsylvania’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and is past president of the Veterinary Comparative Respiratory Society. She is currently pursuing a non-traditional residency in clinical pathology at Tufts while continuing her Penn faculty appointment and is loving every second of learning more about the small animal side of medicine too!


September 18, 2023 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm(GMT-04:00)