Laughter pays dividends
Paediatricians tend to be a jovial bunch and whilst a smile costs nothing, laughter pays dividends. Dr Seb Gray (@SebJGray) looks at why laughter really is the best medicine of all. We also hear from the College's Senior Officers with their favourite jokes. Read the summer 2023 edition
Mental illness as a medic
Doctors often focus on how they can support patients with mental health issues, but what about their own mental health? @doc_bipolar, a paediatrician, details her own mental health, how it has impacted her career and why seeking help is important. Read the spring 2023 edition
Understanding the culture of wellbeing
Sarah Webb (@littlesarahwebb), an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, explores what wellbeing means and identifies three specific areas for meeting your wellbeing needs. Read the winter 2022 edition
Keeping your head when all about you are losing theirs
Dr Dan Magnus (@drdanmagnus) reflects on wellbeing after being the clinical lead for a children’s emergency department. Read the autumn 2022 edition
Wellbeing and you - two years on
Members had shared with us how they'd been supporting each other through the pandemic. Two years on, we hear how they’re getting on. Read the summer 2022 edition
Spring into action!
We all know the benefits both physically and mentally of being active and exercising. With busy lives however, this isn’t always so easy. How can you start taking steps to be more active? Some members tell us what they’ve done and how you can do it too. Read the spring 2022 edition
Ash's baking school
The joy from witnessing my teams and colleagues taste delicious treats... drives me to bake more. So much love and care goes into my baking - it certainly brightens up any day.
The College's star baker, Dr Ash Patel (@DrKidneyAsh) writes a regular baking column sharing his brilliant baking recipes. Here are some favourites, introduced by Ash.
- A firm favourite - crispy lemon creams
I get asked a lot what my favourite flavour is and my reply is always the same – lemon. The sharpness of the citrus perfectly complements the sugar and butter in biscuits and cakes. Lemon drizzle was also the first bake I ever made and began my journey to The Great Paediatric Baker I am today. Lemon bakes are a firm favourite in our household and at the recent junior doctors’ strikes these crispy lemon creams went down a treat on the picket lines. The secret – condensed milk!
- One of the simplest of bakes - focaccia
My guilty pleasure in life is carbs, with bread being one of my firm favourites. It might be easier to pick it up at the supermarket but honestly it is worth the effort baking bread at home. The texture is unbelievable, it tastes delicious plus it makes your house smell amazing. One of the simplest bread bakes to get started with is focaccia. The dough is easy enough and then you can flavour it how you wish – rosemary, garlic, tomatoes, olives, go wild! Perfect when dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Trust me, it will all be gone by the end of the day.
- A rainy day activity for the children in your life - rainbow cupcakes
I am sure children bring much as much joy to your working and personal lives as they do to mine. Their innocent yet cheeky nature is what drew me to paediatrics in the first place. When I asked my patients what they liked to bake, it seemed to involve the classic cupcake. Light, fluffy and easy to make, they are a great bake for children to get involved with. Topped with buttercream or icing, they are perfect to whip up on a rainy day. What better way to enhance them further by adding one or all the colours of the rainbow!
- The tried and tested - custard creams
I, for one, am a biscuit fiend. You will regularly find me sneaking into the ward kitchens for a three pack of biscuits (don’t tell my Trust) and frankly they are never enough. Custard creams are my absolute favourites. On a recent trip to Scotland I tasted the lightest homemade custard cream in a little café in Tain. I had to recreate them! The secret to the fluffiness is Bird’s custard powder – who would have thought! Tried and tested on my educational supervisor and team, these were a huge hit. Enjoy, and continue to spread the love of baking.
- Cream or jam first? Does it matter? Raspberry scones
Last year I had a staycation to Cornwall and had the most glorious, buttery scones. It inspired me to make the perfect scone. I decided to elevate mine, making them even more summery with fresh raspberries. Scones can sometimes turn out too dry for my liking but the raspberries make them more moist. Grab some clotted cream and jam and take a batch to your next picnic, hike or bike ride. But the age-old question – cream or jam first? Does it really matter? Enjoy and continue to spread the love of baking!
- For those busy mornings - homemade breakfast bars
We all aim to eat healthily and follow the advice we give daily to our patients, but this can be a challenge in our line of work, especially on a busy on-call shift. Here’s a simple and healthy plan you can all stick to – homemade breakfast bars! Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day. I struggle to find time in the mornings to sit down and have a proper breakfast. I prefer having mine on the go (also giving me that extra 10 minutes in bed). Luckily, these breakfast bars are quick and easy to make and will provide you with a batch for the whole week. Or you can share them among your team at the morning handover.
- A refuel snack that's perfect for those winter days - cinnamon buns
Like many, I struggle to find motivation in the cold weather and dark nights. One of my fondest winter holidays was spent at Disneyworld Florida. Here I ate the most incredible cinnamon buns for breakfast – they were just magical! I have wanted to recreate them for a number of years. Whilst these buns can’t compare to the magic of Disney, they can provide a vital refuel snack for the team after morning ward rounds. Enjoy and continue to spread the love of baking!
- A favourite of my mother - chai spiced sugar cookies
Cookies are an easy but rewarding bake - you can essentially combine all the ingredients in one bowl. I love having one (or five!) with a cup of tea or coffee, and you can play around with the flavours to make some delicious treats for your teams. These chai spiced sugar cookies are a firm favourite of my Indian mother. They combine my love of masala chai with baking and take me right back to my village in India. Enjoy and continue to spread the love of baking!
- A show-stopper - piñata cake
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the College - and the easing of lockdown - I felt a show stopping piñata cake was the perfect choice for such an occasion. Not only is it easy to make, but the secret treats inside make it a perfect paediatric themed cake. Enjoy and continue to spread the love of baking!
- Spreading the love of baking - Biscoff cupcakes
Like most bakers, I became a bit Biscoff-obsessed during lockdown. Not only are they vegan friendly, Biscoff also comes in spread form that is super more-ish. So it seemed only fitting that I chose this Biscoff cupcake recipe to share with you all! Enjoy, and spread the love of baking with your teams far and wide!