Now that's wicked...

It's not everyday one learns new things but I quickly learnt several new things all at once. Just by reading and listening to the fabulous recent podcast by boss Scott Weingart talking about Tacit Knowledge and Medical Podcasting.

"What the heck is Tacit Knowledge?" - I sure didn't know. A quick read on Wikipedia filled me in on that. Thank's Scott. That really defines the beauty of medical knowledge sharing on the level of podcasting and online media. This is exemplified by my recent encounter with a traumatic cardiac arrest from stab wounds. We quickly performed bilateral finger thoracotomies as part of the resuscitative efforts, though unfortunately the patient did not survive. Since it was a trauma code, I was asked later, "What the heck is a finger thoracostomy?". I sure didn't know before, but now I do.  Thanks again, Scott. 

Now what's really wicked... is of course wicked problems. What the heck is that? Not as evil or as far-fetched as the dark side of the moon you'd think. But they are tough problems so far as to solutions or even mere notion of thinking about it in the first place. Apparently, it takes a wicked problem to conceptualise and define a wicked problem.

From Wikipedia, wicked problems are also characterised by the following:
  1. The solution depends on how the problem is framed and vice-versa (i.e. the problem definition depends on the solution)
  2. Stakeholders have radically different world views and different frames for understanding the problem.
  3. The constraints that the problem is subject to and the resources needed to solve it change over time.
  4. The problem is never solved definitively.

What comes to mind immediately is the problem of  ED overcrowding and access block. Now that's super wicked... 

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