“The worst thing about busy shifts is that I never learn anything.”
My junior resident and I were contemplating the many difficulties of residency, especially when working at a busy urban ED where patients are plenty, but teaching during shifts may be harder to come by. We discussed the importance of coming up with at least one learning point or clinical question during each shift, and making a point of following through and reading up on it after. (That shift we both learned about fat emboli s/p extremity fracture.)
But even with self-initiated learning adventures, I think that it is important that faculty and senior residents take the lead and actively work to ensure that learning occurs for every resident and every medical student during every shift, throughout all years of residency. Some educators actually say that something can be taught on just about every case seen with a resident if approached correctly.