Knowledge Under Pressure

On Work, Problems, and Communication

Dan Dworkis, MD PhD
2 min readNov 17, 2022
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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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EP 72: Dr. Andrew Petrosoniak on Holding the Problem Space

Dr. Andrew Petrosoniak on design thinking in emergency medicine, the power of systems in uncertainty, the value of holding the problem space and much more.

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The Varieties of Human Work

Detailed breakdown of the concepts of “work as done” vs “work as imagined”, along with “work as prescribed” and “work as disclosed.” Great place to start if you’re new to these concepts — if these ideas and how they play into performance under pressure are already on your radar I’d recommend jumping to the bottom and exploring the archetypes of work section.

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Routine & critical communication are different beasts. When your team needs to transition from a routine phase to a critical phase of a resuscitation or operation, what phrase, or signal do you use to mark the transition and re-organize around the new focus? What about when you’re moving in the other direction and it’s time to downshift and recover? What are your methods for agreeing on and teaching these transition markers to new members of the team?

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: