NYGH course goes national

Dr. Arun Sayal, an emergency physician at North York General Hospital (NYGH), knows the importance of education. As the founder of CASTED, an award-winning course from North York General, he has spent countless hours teaching emergency physicians across Canada the fine art of treating fractures.

"There's a saying, the more you teach, the more you learn," Dr. Sayal says. "Often when we teach a CASTED course, there's one question that will help us gain greater insight into providing the best possible care for our patients and families."

CASTED (Casting And Splinting Techniques in the Emergency Department) is designed for ED physicians and staff to further enhance their skills. It combines case-based lectures withhands-on casting and splinting. This is very hard to replicate online or in a book.

See the video Making a World of Difference with Arun Sayal.

The course's genesis occurred in 2005, when Dr. Maurice Bent, NYGH's Chief of Orthopedic Surgery, approached Dr. Sayal about running a weekly fracture clinic to look after patients with relatively minor fractures. After a few years — and with the benefit of expert teaching from NYGH's orthopedic surgeons — Dr. Sayal recognized a possible need for an ED-focused orthopedics course. CASTED was created in 2008.

So far, over 150 courses have been given from Whitehorse to St. John's and over 3,000 emergency staff have attended. In 2011, CASTED won the College of Family Physicians of Canada's Continuing Professional Development Award.

For Dr. Sayal, CASTED is a prime example of the importance of learning and teaching at North York General. "Our orthopedic surgeons have taught our ED staff so much about managing patients with these injuries," he says. "Then, add to that NYGH’s keen interest in continuing medical education. So what began as something our NYGH surgeons created internally has evolved into a course that helps ED staff across the country."