Knowledge Under Pressure

On Crossing Communication Lines and Improving Decisions

Dan Dworkis, MD PhD
2 min readJan 5, 2023

Field notes from what we’ve been up to, what we’ve been taking in, and what we are thinking about at The Emergency Mind Project.

If you have ideas or things you’d like to see — or if you want to help and get more involved — I’d love to hear from you:

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How to Speak Emergency Medicine with Your People

How do you talk to the important people in your life who don’t work in your field? Translating across that gap, especially after working the 10th hard shift in a row or facing a significant tragedy, is challenging and at times can feel impossible. But communication is a skill, and thankfully it’s one that we can get better at with practice. In this article (focused on the world of emergency medicine), we explore key ideas in breaking down communication barriers and improving important relationships.

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Decision Making Models with EM Ottowa

Excellent thread on multiple models of how to make better decisions under pressure by Dr. Andrew Petrosoniak. I particularly like the sections on reducing decision making and signposting decisions. Lots to learn and immediately put into practice here.

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SWAT commander Kevin Cyr described analysis paralysis as, “like being in an oxygen-deprived environment — you don’t notice it until it’s too late.” It’s too easy to get stuck collecting “just a little more data,” during a crisis before making a decision / taking an action. So what are the best ways we have to recognize this fault line as early as possible and not get trapped in it?

Something you want to see? Idea for a future thing to dig into? Hit reply and let me know what you’re thinking.

Keep training, and good luck out there!

— Dan



Dan Dworkis, MD PhD

Emergency Doctor. Applying knowledge under pressure. The Emergency Mind Book: