Tag Archives: blog

Using Evernote for Continuous Professional Development – a view from General Practice in UK

10 Dec

Like many professional people doctors must keep track of a lot of information. From beginning of December 2012, all GMC registered doctors must engage with 5 yearly revalidation cycle.  Annual appraisal has been in place since 2004 after the Shipman scandal and its aftermath, the legal requirement for revalidation has only now been enacted.

Many different systems are available to doctors to choose from for keeping track of the required documents and learning. The Royal Medical Colleges have systems for their members (e.g. RCGP ePortfolio), the NHS has encouraged a toolkit, and some household names in medical press (eg GP, BMJ eLearning) have also jumped on the bandwagon.

However, after trying out several I have purchased the premium version of Evernote.  Evernote suits my style of learning and integrates easily with all the devices used for work and play – Windows Home PC, laptop and work PC, and android phone & tablet.  It will also work happily on iOS devices and Apple computers.

It has taken some time to get used to the powerful features of Evernote.  The Premium version allows full control of privacy settings which is clearly important for something as sensitive as professional portfolio.  Also the paid version allows up to 1GB data uploaded per month which is generous unless you are in habit of uploading videos or audio files of meetings. This data plan can be increased for another fee.  Acrobat PDF files can be read inside the programme too.  Numerous third party applications are available to expand the capability of Evernote: some are free, many are enterprise (fee paying) solutions.

I have two main folders for notebooks – Personal and Work.  One notebook is publicly shared with my patients – the link is here
My appraisal notebook can be shared with my appraiser for the current year.

Evernote provides a tool to archive twitter posts which is a boon when engaging in professional twitter chats (when you see @myEN the author is archiving post to her or his evernote notebook.  You can add an extension to Chrome or Firefox to help grab web pages or parts thereof and store in  Evernote.

Furthermore, careful use of tags will help with finding notes quickly, though Evernote does a good job with free text searching too.

Finally, the best is kept until last  – automatic adding of useful emails or social network interactions or cloud storage files. The means to do this is provided by a couple of providers which I have stumbled on.  Zapier (http://zapier.com) offers free packages for a limited number of “recipes” (5) and ifttt (http://ifttt.com) offer free packages for unlimited number of “recipes” .  Careful planning can give excellent results for busy doctors (and others).  The instructions for use are straightforward.

After nearly one year nearly 7000 notes have been collected. While not a complete and comprehensive collection of learning and interaction that some may aspire to, it is a good reflection of continuous professional development.

Samuel Shem, 34 Years After ‘The House of God’ – Atlantic Mobile

28 Nov

http://goo.gl/TZ3fx A fabulous essay celebrating humanity in healthcare which must be preserved for all our sakes

Defining A Life

14 Dec

Defining A Life by Nicole  Rushin

So good I had to post the whole poem...

People and events can sweep over you like a slow moving rain cloud.

After a while you get so used to the rain you no longer notice the mist.
No longer notice your feet are wet.

Unfortunately we can become addicted to negative energy and have a hard time letting it go.

Why do we so easily become co-dependent and accustomed to the manipulation?

I have been dealing with some drama produced by people I thought stood for good things.

At first I was angered  and then let down and finally relieved!

Relieved because I could feel the bad energy moving away from me.

Is it possible to ever really know someone?

In light of this I thought I would share some things about myself because I want my readers to know I am real.

I want you to know what I stand for and I want you to leave freely if you don’t like any of it.

I never want to be a rain cloud in anyone’s life.


I was born in Ohio and moved to Georgia when I was eight.
My parents are still together ~ rare birds it might seem.

I have no children and I knew I did not want to have any at a very early age.

I was introduced to poetry when I stumbled upon a collection of Robert Frost poems when I was young.

As a child, people who loved to read fascinated me.
How could they focus so intently and finish a whole book in a short span of time?
That was amazing to me. I admit, I have always been more of a writer than a reader.

One day I was climbing a tree – I was young – around 10 or 11 years old.
The sun was coming through the leaves and there was a still voice or an urge that I instantly understood.
And even if I could not understand the simple complexity of what Robert Frost was saying –
I understood the urgency beneath his words that day.
I understood that I suddenly had something to say.

I was introduced to the works of Joseph Campbell when I was around 16 and he later came to me in a dream.
I was trying to move away from some people in my life who were taking over my energy.
In my dream there were two couches.
My couch sat facing his and he sat on his couch with many other scholarly looking people.
He looked up and waved me over and said, ‘We want you on our side.’

I still think I am in the middle of the floor trying to get to that couch.
Maybe it was my calling, my hero’s journey.
I take another step every day.

I am not religious.
I am spiritual and don’t hold to any specific doctrine aside from what I feel to be true.
I believe that everyone is in the exact place they need to be to learn what they need.
God might be found when you realize this, not only about yourself but about others.
So who am I to criticize anyone’s truth?

I believe in the power of dreaming and daydreaming.
Daydreaming is essential to our health.
And I know it to be the seat of creativity.

I don’t meditate and therefore I will never tell you how.
I take a Yoga class once a week.

I love Coffee with cream, no sugar and I never stir –
Pepperoni and Cheescake and rainbows after a sudden rain.

I am divorced.
I don’t believe in relationships that don’t allow people to grow.
That was my reason for leaving.

I am now in another relationship.
His wife passed away in April of 2010 and I consider her to be one of my many angels.
I am grateful beyond words to be walking and living in this space she once graced.

In my vision story, over a year ago, I asked for a quiet space in the country to write.
I wrote about simplicity, a place for my dog, where she could run and sleep on the couch in the evenings.
The universe answered and strangely enough when I first moved in I did not recognize I had been given exactly what I needed and exactly what I had asked for.

I am here with my Great Dane, Mackenzie and one of my cats, Tavi.
My other two cats stayed behind with my ex-husband. I miss them – all of them.

My heart has now been snagged in this place by a dog named Daisy, an Otter Hound mix with deep dark eyes and ears made for rubbing.
And a Jack Russel Terrier named Ruby who knows the real meaning of power napping ~ no pillow is too small or too large for her.

I am not complicated – I like simple things.
I would love to travel more, but I also love having a place to call home and being surrounded by dogs, cats, chickens, books and familiar smells.
Hotel pillows get old after a while.

I want more than anything to make a living from my writing, but I know it is not as simple as that.
I know that words and poetry merely open doors.
Writing is not a finite craft – it leads you places and I am willing to go where the words take me.

On the wall of the Yoga room where I take classes are these words by Gary Kraftsow,
“Yoga is a process of transformation, a system for shedding dysfunctional patterns and activating our untapped potential.”

What is your Yoga? Mine is Dreamwork.
I love the mysterious, metaphorical language of dreams.
It is a language we have forgotten.
It is the door that I most want my writing to open.

My dreams inspire me, they ask me to grow, they ask me to stretch to my edge, to feel my way and trust.
Every night I shed layers and layers of skin I wear through the day.
I come back humbled, happy, fearful yet wiser for listening.

The winter Beech – the shimmering leaves –
These are the dream languages we have taken for granted –
And the urgency beneath – the urgency by which they speak
This is the real thing.

When I leave this plane I would just want one person to say,
‘She taught me how to dream. She taught me how to read my own book.’

I am blue jeans and agates not diamonds.
Garden dirt beneath my feet and fingernails.
I love these lessons we un-earth in the garden.

I have a horticulture degree.
I spent some time managing a garden center and ran my own for a while.
But it was the esoteric side of gardening I loved so much.
Our spirits come alive in nature.

I am 38 years old.
My birthday is in March.
Winter is not my season.

One day I will live in a place where the winters don’t dip below 60.
In a beach cottage, with a sleeping loft and a view of the moon kissing the sea.
And I know this – I know I won’t be there alone.

I spoke of my beach cottage dream to a Law of Attraction Group about two years ago.
They all asked me, ‘Who is there with you?’
Even though I was married at the time I just didn’t know.
My answer was, ‘Well, he is making me coffee.’

Am I spoiled? Is it irony? Or synchronicity?
Because now, every morning ~
My coffee is brought to my bed.

One thing in my life I regret is this;
On a beautiful summer day my Grandmother and I visited a local botanical garden.
It started to rain. We ran under a tree and then to the car and left.
We should have stayed, got wet, watched for rainbows, watched pearls of rain fall off the Annabelle Hydrangea blossoms.
There was a Dogwood and River Birch Trees taller than I had ever seen.
We didn’t stay – we left – this is one thing in my life I regret.

Some things I have learned this past year;
Gratitude feels like a million hearts singing your name, but it only happens when you have the humility to hear and accept the voices.
I have learned to take but yet appreciate.
I learned this from a Cedar Wax Wing.

I learned the importance of vulnerability and that in order to feel joy you have to be willing to feel some of the pain.

I learned that it is okay to cry if it makes you feel alive.

I learned that words spoken and written have more power than any person can ever know.

Words teeter at the end of our thoughts and all life hinges on this moment of what is yet to be spoken.

I hope 2012 becomes the year we can all just be ourselves, get real, and get on with the things that really matter most.

What are these things?  Who are they? Speak their names gently lest they not get away.
Let it be a year of really defining the things that matter most.


Nicole Rushin signature - displayed as a pic


7 Jul


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31 Oct

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com is a blog by Yves Smith who hails from USA.  Her views relevant to UK!

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