Introducing… eGPLearning PodBlast Episode 1

One of many things that changed in 2017 was my in car listening habits.

Driving to and, in particular, home from work used to be relaxing. But over the course of 2016 and 2017 something changed. I was arriving home more angry, more irritable, more worried.

Eventually, I worked it out. It was the radio. My brain was beginning to reject Radio 4’s constant assault of Brexit, Trump and bad news.

So I tried something different and started listening to podcast on my iphone instead.

Now I arrive at my destination inspired by an insightful interview, informed by a lively debate or perhaps even having learnt something new.

I encourage you all to turn off your car radio and try listening to a good podcast instead.

To cater to your listening needs and provide a podcast option containing news and interviews from a GP/Tech slant, @DrGandalf52 and I have joined forces to bring you the eGPLearning Podblast.

Please take episode 1 for a test drive and let us know what you think. Be kind, this is our first roadtrip and we are still have the L plates on the car…

Show notes:

Introductions and declaration of interests

Dr Andrew Foster:

Dr Hussain Gandhi:

  • GP Partner Nottingham
  • Former Chair RCGP Vale of Trent Faculty
  • Treasurer GP Survival
  • Owner SystmOne Facebook User Group
  • Owner
  • Twitter – @DrGandalf52

NICE Health App Briefings:

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Chatbot vs NHS111 trial cancelled as patients game the system

Tuesday lunchtime saw a lively discussion in the staff room at Middle Street Surgery. Dr Puddle, iPhone in one hand and sandwich in the other, proclaimed that everyone’s job was safe!

Well, for a little longer at least.

He had just heard via Twitter that the North London trail to replace NHS111 call handlers with Babylon’s artificially intelligent chatbot symptom checker had been abandoned.

It seems, he went on… That patients, who have to wait days or even weeks for a GP appointment, might deliberately game the symptom checker if they think it will get them a quicker appointment.

Dr Puddle looked up and around at a room of knowing looks and unsurprised faces.

The staff room had a number of thoughts about why the trial may have failed…

1. Wrong solution for the wrong problem? Efforts to improve access when capacity is the problem will not help

There are a finite number of GPs, nurses and appointments and a seemingly unquenchable demand. Getting an appointment can often feel like a competition. When systems change, patients wise up quickly and soon learn how to maximise their chance of getting an appointment. Call earlier, ring at certain times of the day when slots are released, drop in as the surgery opens. A new equilibrium is quickly reached.

New ways of booking an appointment don’t change things for long if the problem is that there aren’t enough appointments in the first place.

Attempts to improve capacity by simply improving access can backfire and overwhelm already over stretched services.

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5 lessons for Doctors from Elon Musk

Ask entrepreneurs and innovators who they most admire and one name invariably rises toward the top of the list.

Elon Reeve Musk

Elon Musk is a South African – Canadian – American billionaire technology entrepreneur. He is currently riding a wave of successes at his three main companies. If his form continues, he may well be remembered as one of the great figures of the 21st century.

  • At Tesla, Musk is disrupting the motor industry by making electric cars that are actually usable and desired by consumers. He has traditional automakers playing catch up.
  • SolarCity is making solar roof tiles and home battery storage solutions with the aim of eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels.
  • At SpaceX, Musk has dramatically cut the cost of sending satellites, and soon humans, to space by making reusable rockets a reality. He ultimately aims to make mankind an interplanetary species and establish a colony on Mars.

Not content to simultaneously revolutionise 3 industries, he has also found time to form companies to promote various other ideas, causes and concepts.

  • Supersonic intercity travel in vacuum tubes (HyperLoop)
  • Saving the world from rogue Artificial Intelligences (OpenAI)
  • Building a network of tunnels under Los Angeles to alleviate traffic congestion (TheBoringCompany)
  • Melding the capabilities of man and computer with brain-machine interfaces (Neuralink)

And he still has had time to father 6 children and inspire Robert Downey Junior’s portrayal of Tony Stark in the recent Marvel Iron Man and Avenger films…

Elon Musk makes a cameo in Iron Man 2

In fact it is difficult to write about Musk without feeling like a large man crush is being revealed to the world.

Musk also his his critics. He has been called a hyperactive, attention seeking, exaggerater. Former employees and colleagues will often describe a demanding and sometimes bullying darker side.

Such was my fascination with this figure that I recently read Ashley Vance’s biography of Musk.

I have tried to digest the information and distill some lessons relevant to my life/role as a GP interested in organisational development and technology… They may be of interest to you too…

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Anatomy of a Doctorpreneur 5/5 – The Pitch

When picturing an entrepreneurial pitch, most people’s minds will turn to the popular BBC TV show Dragon’s Den. Business owners braving the scrutiny of the rich, experienced and powerful dragons in a make or break attempt to win funding over 10, or so, awkward minutes.

However, pitching a company or idea can take many different forms. The audience isn’t always an investor. Other people also need convincing that your business will work. Key employees, customers, partner’s, family and friends will all need persuading at times. And, often this persuading is accomplished over many conversations, rather than a single event.

Some consider the reality of successful pitching more like dating. You need to show up, make a good impression, put in some effort and show passion. But, at least initially, leave them wanting more and give them a reason to look forward to that next date.


Our journey through this 5 part series exploring the world of entrepreneurs and medical startups is nearly at an end. We have travelled through the process of becoming a founder, finding a good service or product idea, assembling a winning startup team, and identifying sources of funding. Today, in this final installment, we will examine the important skill of delivering a good pitch.

In this post, we will explore general tips for delivering a good pitch and consider some of the building blocks for constructing a versatile “pitch deck”. A useful resource to support pitching to a variety of audiences.


Pitching your medical startup – General tips

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Transitions2017 Innovation on a budget

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted for a few weeks. No, I have not been off on an Easter holiday to the sun. I have in fact been hard at work on another project. Busy wearing another of my hats as Honorary Secretary of the RCGP Vale of Trent Faculty, I have been helping organise a day conference and then editing video and building a website to showcase the event.

My guest post on the explains how we delivered an innovative day conference along with a website to showcase the events and host video of talks, sessions and a promo video for working in our area. All on a tight budget.

Either head over to, or continue reading here…


The Transitions2017 day conference took place on 29/3/17. For many years the RCGP Vale of Trent Faculty has hosted this spring time event for ST3 GP Registrars with the aim of preparing our new GPs for the world of work and life after GP training. The event covers a range of non clinical topics ranging from resilience and technology to managing your finances and revalidation. This article describes how we built on our recent tradition of innovation at this event.

In particular, we are proud of our use of low cost video and web products to make the experience of the day available online, free of charge for existing and future GP trainees. We are also proud of our filming on the day for our “Choose GP, Choose Vale of Trent” promotional video.

Previously, at our 2016 Transitions event…

  • We introduced our first of it’s kind (to our knowledge) GP Speed Dating recruitment event. As in many regions, practices in the Vale of Trent can struggle to find GPs. With over 70 new GPs about to finish training, together in one place, we couldn’t resist inviting practices from across the area who were in need of new GPs along to a Speed Dating style recruitment event. The event drew the attention of PulseToday and GPFrontline and you can read more about it here.
  • We also extended invitations for the event to include First5 GPs. The day is a great opportunity for for First5 GPs, particularly those new to the area, to meet other new GPs and connect with the faculty, practices and other local support organisations.

Planning Transitions2017

At our annual faculty away day, we were determined to build on last year’s innovations. The Faculty Board identified a number of aspirations for the coming year, including…

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Anatomy of a Doctorpreneur ⅘ – The Funding

Your work in clinical medicine has given you a unique perspective and insight. You have asked the right questions and identified an important opportunity for improving care. You want to bring this innovation to the world.

You have the fortitude, ambition and grit required become the founder your own health technology startup. In fact, many of these qualities are what gave you the drive to succeed in your medical career.

You have researched your market and your competitors. You have developed your innovation from idea to a minimum viable product (MVP). The signal from potential customers is positive.

You are aware of the skills, knowledge and qualities that are needed to take the project forward. Your first key team members, advisors and mentors are in place.

You are ready to move forward, but something is missing. People, materials, equipment, stock, marketing… These things are going to cost MONEY.

Where will you find the funding to take things forward?


Welcome back to part ⅘ of my series of posts about the world of health innovation and startup culture. This series was inspired by the excellent Doctorpreneurs day conference that I attended in November last year (2016). If you have missed any earlier posts then please do catch up.


Why do health technology companies need investment?

Many companies have business models that require early investment in order to become viable:

  • A new medical device may be fantastic but require investment in further research & development to bring it to eagerly awaiting market.

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