AiT & First5s – Get your dream GP job

Workforce issues consistently appear the near top of lists of problems facing general practice.

GP Trainees and First5s look their more senior colleagues and see some of them struggling to cope with workload and stress. The pressure to do all they can to find the right job for them, at the right practice, is felt keener than ever.

Practices are finding it difficult to fill positions, particularly partnership roles. Many fear that they may become unsustainable if they cannot recruit to replace those retiring or moving on.


In this video I talk to a group of First5 and ST3 GP registrars about the process of finding and securing a good post.

If you are a new, or not so new, GP searching for a job then I hope the presentation will be useful.

For practices looking to recruit, the discussion and questions from new GPs offer an interesting insight into the their concerns and priorities. These might help you also in your search for the right candidate.


In the video, we cover:

  • Deciding what your dream job actually looks like
  • Assessing GP job adverts
  • Informal visits
  • CVs
  • Covering letters
  • Interviews
  • Negotiating salary and terms

For more videos from the RCGP Vale of Trent Transitions2017 Conference, click here.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please share with friends and colleagues, click here to follow me on twitter and leave a comment below.

Remember to sign up for free updates when I post new material using the “Subscribe To” box in the top right of the site.

NHS Cyber Attack! – 5 things I learned

On Friday 12th May NHS IT and communication systems up and down the UK were shut down as Hospitals and GP surgeries fell victim to a ransomware attack on their computer systems. Staff were presented with a screen stating that their files had been encrypted and demanded $300 in Bitcoins, an online currency, in order to make the data usable again. The virus spread quickly across the heavily networked but aging NHS infrastructure. Affected organisations gave the order to shut down all IT systems to halt the spread and large parts of the NHS lost all telephone and computer systems as they were returned to the world of pen and paper.

At my surgery in Nottingham, we were without computer systems for three working days. Being under “cyber attack” was an interesting experience.

The effect of losing multiple systems all at once was extremely disruptive. To make matters worse, our IT support and CCG also lost the use of their phones, email and computers at the same time. It was impossible to report problems upward, communicate with our colleagues or receive instructions about how to react or respond.

However, we in General Practice and the NHS are an adaptable bunch. It was only a matter of minutes before we were handwriting on the paper from our printers and dusting off the BNFs. Reception did a great job of recreating our appointment ledger on a white board. Patients were understanding. Staff turned to social media and news websites on their phones for information. Before long people across the system were finding alternative ways of communicating, using mobile phone numbers, facebook, twitter and personal emails to cascade information and coordinate our response. Our staff even drove around neighbouring practices to inform them of the instructions to switch off their IT.

Continue reading “NHS Cyber Attack! – 5 things I learned”

Anatomy of a Doctorpreneur ⅗ – The Startup Team

As a youngster, Saturday afternoon’s meant watching the A-Team. My favourite character was Hanibal, the ex-army colonel who always had a plan, and a cigar, to hand. The others all had some issue or another; BA’s poor people skills, Murdoch’s mental health challenges and Face’s loose morals. But, it was clear why Hannibal needed them. He couldn’t get the job done on his own. They had mission critical skills that he did not. He needed his team.

So you are a potential Health Tech founder. You have a great idea and a plan to make it a success. Now things get complicated. The next steps will involve forming a company, handling investments and accounts, developing software or physical products, marketing and dealing with staff… It will be impossible to know how, or have the time, to do all of these things effectively without help…

You need to form a team.


Welcome back for part 3 of my 5 part series about the Health Technology Startup scene. These posts are based on my notes and reflections from the Doctorpreneurs Day Conference held at St Thomas Hospital London on Saturday 5th November 2016.

Whether you are a medic thinking about developing a health innovation outside of the NHS, or simply looking for fresh ideas about how to implement change within the health service, there is a lot which can be learned from the Tech Startup scene. Please see the other posts in this series.

Today we will examine that most vital piece of the anatomy of a medical startup…

Assembling a winning startup team

Continue reading “Anatomy of a Doctorpreneur ⅗ – The Startup Team”

Personality Profiling in (General) Practice

“Dr Ann Example looked across the meeting room at Dr Adam Fiction. Nice chap, talkative, lots of ideas. But, why do I find him stressful to be around sometimes?.. She pondered as she tried to think how his idea would affect her plans.”

“Adam paused for breath. Why doesn’t Ann seem interested in my idea…”

This post describes how we used personality type training at the practice to try and improve our effectiveness and reduce stress.

Practices are under resourced and under pressure. But the stakes are high and our decisions and results can have a huge impact on our patients. In this environment it is easy for friction to develop between staff. A large amount of practice time can be wasted dealing with conflicts. Sometimes people can fall out dramatically with destructive results.

To increase effectiveness at work, we know to invest in “hard skills”. These are specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured, such as how to process information, follow procedures and protocols and use equipment and software. When considering aptitude for hard skills, we often think of the (perhaps controversial) concept of IQ.

But “soft skills” are important too. These are less tangible, harder to quantify and include skills such as understanding motivations – our own and our colleagues, listening, small talk and building relationships. These are also vital for individuals and teams to perform effectively. These skills make up our Emotional Intelligence (EQ).

“EQ represents the capability of an individuals to recognize their own, and other people’s emotions, to discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, to use this emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and to manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt environments or achieve one’s goal(s).”  – Wikipedia

Raising EQ can improve the performance of individuals and teams. An effective way of raising EQ is to increase awareness of differences in personalities and preferred ways of communicating and working.

Personality Profiling A GP Practice

Recently at our Practice, we designed and undertook a team building session based on personality typing. We used the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) system. The aim was to help the team to better understand each other’s personalities, emotions and preferred ways of working.

Continue reading “Personality Profiling in (General) Practice”

Which deadly sin can help save the NHS?

Since antiquity, mankind has held a belief in the deadly sins. A list of seven infamous and destructive vices may not feel like the natural place to look for inspiration to help a health service creaking under a myriad of pressures and challenges.

But, there is one deadly sin that Doctors and other healthcare workers would benefit from indulging in more often.

  • Gluttony? – Those christmas chocolates in the staff room are delicious, but you will regret eating too many and it doesn’t set a good example.
  • Wrath? – We see injustice every day. However, revenge usually disappoints and escalates.
  • Envy? – Being jealous of your friend who made a million in the city won’t help anyone.
  • Lust? – Fraternising on the ward won’t help the patients.
  • Sloth? – Laziness and not doing what you should will harm patients and your career.
  • Greed? – Perhaps – Money is a good motivator, and pay is important, but the NHS is not the place to make millions.

I am thinking of course, of Pride!

The sin of pride is confusing.

We are proud of our children, our families, our heritage. Have you ever wished someone would take more pride in their work? Pride can motivate people to study hard and to do their best for others. Surely it is ok to be proud?

On the other hand, pride can lead us to be overconfident in our abilities, to believe that we are special and superior, and to ignore warnings thinking we know better. Pride can turn people into dangerous jerks.

Pride has always been part of the identity and perception of the medical profession. From the widely held image of the kindly and open minded yet educated and decisive physician to the stereotype of the arrogant and head strong old surgeon (sorry surgeons ;-)).

The Seven Deadly Sins: Hieronymus Bosch, circa 1500 or The Walt Disney Company, late 20th century – Choose your preferred cultural reference point

 

What is pride anyway?

Continue reading “Which deadly sin can help save the NHS?”

Anatomy of a Doctorpreneur: Doctor led Startups Part ⅖ The Idea

“Please report to the administrator’s office…”

It was the early 1980s and Dr Archie Brain was living in the nurses accommodation block. Whilst sprucing up his room, the cleaning lady had stumbled upon a collection of home made, orchid styled latex objects that had been hung out to dry. Suspicious of what use they might be being put to, she had reported the matter. Fortunately, Dr Brain was able to convince the administrator that it was all part of his legitimate research.

Prototype Laryngeal Mask Airways

Changing the world of medicine can throw up all sorts of unexpected problems!

Those of you with an interest in anaesthetics will recognise the name. Dr Archie Brain invented the Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA). He took it from an idea, to a listed company (LMACO) and an essential piece of life saving anaesthetic equipment in use all over the world! His story holds some interesting lessons for would be health innovators.

Welcome back for part ⅖ of my series of posts about the world of health innovation and startup culture.  There is a hope and belief that through innovation and the application of emerging new technologies, medicine can continue to improve health and wellbeing outcomes whilst also meeting the challenges of rising costs, complexity and demand. Artificial Intelligence, Social Networking, 3D Printing, Smart Devices, the Internet of Things… The list and possibilities go on.

These posts are based on my notes and reflections from the Doctorpreneurs day conference held at St Thomas Hospital London on Saturday 5th November.

Today we will examine that most vital piece of the anatomy of a medical startup… The idea behind it all.

Part one in the series was an exploration of the “Doctor Founders” behind medical startups. If you missed it then catch up here.

 

Where do health innovation ideas come from?

In essence, a health technology startup is built upon a solution to a problem or more specifically a need.

Doctors are exceptionally well placed to spot problems and to innovate solutions. Those without the valuable of experience working at the “coalface” of patient care are not so well placed to spot the unmet needs in healthcare.

‘Well all this holding of facemasks does seem to me to be a bit awkward really.’ – Thought Dr Archie Brain

Continue reading “Anatomy of a Doctorpreneur: Doctor led Startups Part ⅖ The Idea”