GP Learning Groups: How To Utilise IT To Combat The 5 Common Excuses Why You Don't Usually Get Involved
GP small learning groups are becoming more popular. Some are groups of GPs who got together on the VTS and perhaps practised for the CSA together. Some are groups of friends – often, experienced GPs – who want the benefits of peer education and support. Some form spontaneously when a group of doctors get together at a meeting somebody takes the initiative. All of these groups offer the chance to learn together, discuss interesting cases and share words of advice and support.
I appraise GPs regularly and have no doubt that learning groups are excellent for appraisals, giving you both learning credits and a forum for professional discussions.
So, if you have considered joining a learning group but you have found excuses not to, here are some top IT tips that Network Locum (now Lantum)s’ Matt McKeever shared with me….
- “It’s takes too long to find a time when everyone’s available
Doodle – This tool simplifies the process of scheduling events and can sync with your calendar
Eventbrite – This website makes registration and ticketing easy if you’d like something more formal or you’re
meeting other GPs for the first time.
Plan Ahead - Setting the date well in advance will increase the likelihood of people attending.
- “It’s difficult to find other people to participate”
- “I don’t know where we would meet”
Restaurants – Tripadvisor.com is probably the most famous website that provides reviews and can filter your search results by location, cuisine, price range, etc.
Practices/Office Spaces – You can always ask Practice Managers or GP Partners if they don’t mind you using the practice one evening or weekend. Alternatively there are plenty of websites like &meetings.com which make booking meeting rooms easy.
Home – Perhaps the cheapest venue of all, and the most popular, you can host a meeting at home.
- “They cost too much to put on regularly”
Sponsorship – There are lots of organisations who would be willing to sponsor your event in return for a visual/physical presence.
Contributions – You can always ask attendees to pay a small amount to cover room hire and food costs.
- “It’s difficult to communicate and keep in touch”
Email - Boomerang is a Gmail plugin that can help you delay sending email, or set reminders if people don’t respond.
Whatsapp – It’s like texting but hosted online and holds a bit more functionality.
This article was written by Dr Bill Laughey who is a GP, Appraiser, Trainer & Medical School Tutor. He also set up and runs this really useful website www.doctorappraisal.com which helps GPs set up learning groups and provides useful advice about appraisals and revalidation.