Thousands of doctors are using our new mobile app to support their learning. Here, Dr John Bainton discusses his use of the GMC My CPD app while working as a Clinical Fellow at the GMC. John is also a general adult psychiatrist in South London.
The GMC’s web team have been speaking to some doctors for whom the GMC My CPD app has become an important part of their working lives.
The organisation built the app with the help of doctors to help them log their learning on the go, and to help busy medical professionals translate learning into real life improvements to their practice.
I am able to map my new knowledge to different domains in Good medical practice.
During my fellowship at the GMC, I’ve used the app to track my developing understanding of regulation policy. As soon as I arrived at the GMC, I downloaded the app and began tracking my reading of various reports, which helped me improve my understanding of how the GMC fits into the regulatory landscape, and I was able to map my new knowledge to different domains in Good medical practice.
The app has been developed to complement existing appraisal systems doctors are using as part of the revalidation process. In addition to providing a quick and convenient way to store learning points, it also contains top tips to help you prepare your CPD records for appraisal.
It’s also interesting to hear how other doctors have been using the different features of the app to support their working lives in different ways.
Setting reminders to reflect on learning
David Pugh is a locum GP whose sport and exercise medicine work includes the role of team doctor for Guinness Pro 12 rugby team Glasgow Warriors.
“I think it’s a great tool for recording learning activities, as an adjunct to your main appraisal system,” said David, who is also a suitable person for the faculty of sport and exercise medicine.
I particularly like the fact the app lets you set yourself a reminder, which helps me go back to a bit of learning, reflect and if possible use the learning to improve my practice.
“I use it mostly to record ad hoc learning, both for my GP work and for the sports and exercise work.”
The app asks you to note what you’ve learned at a conference or after a patient consultation, for example, and how you will change your practice as a result. You can then set a reminder to check whether the changes have led to an improvement in your practice.
“I particularly like the fact the app lets you set yourself a reminder, which helps me go back to a bit of learning, reflect and if possible use the learning to improve my practice,” said David.
David has also been able to export his learning from the app to his employer’s existing appraisal system: “I’ve been able to transfer the information to the Scottish Online Appraisal Resource without any problems. I think it’s great and I recommend it to other doctors whenever I get the chance.”
Logging learning while it’s fresh
Mary Whalley is a retired consultant psychiatrist who spends her time doing medico-legal work, teaching and voluntary work for her local NHS trust in north Norfolk.
Mary uses the app in a wide range of ways to capture what she learns before it is forgotten.
She said: “I use it to record formal learning and my reflections after I’ve been on a course. It’s so handy to be able to jot that down on the train on the way home.
“I also use it on the sofa after reading a good article in the BMJ or the British Journal of Psychiatry, or after looking something up as an aide memoire.
I find it useful to note learning points immediately afterwards while it’s fresh in the memory.
“Occasionally I have a difficult encounter with a colleague or patient and find it useful to note learning points immediately afterwards while it’s fresh in the memory.”
Mary keeps a record of her learning on the Medical Appraisal Guide (MAG) so exports her notes from the app to the MAG every so often.
“The fact you can export your learning to the MAG is very useful in terms of providing evidence of reflective practice,” she said.
Exporting notes to other systems
Dr Mark Aszkenasy is an aesthetic medicine doctor who runs his own business in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He uses the app ‘most days’.
“Learning opportunities arise every day and this app helps me record these experiences and reflect,” said Mark.
“It’s particularly useful during conferences, when I can record my thoughts during demos and talks rather than trying to rely on memory after the event.
“It’s ideal for recording learning experiences from reading and e-learning.”
The app also allows you to export all or some of your notes as a PDF document or an Excel spreadsheet.
“It’s straightforward to transfer it to my appraisal system too – I simply export everything to a PDF and upload it.”
Making space for contemplation
Dr Susan Law is a part time GP in a semi-rural practice in Scotland, as well as being head of undergraduate GP training at the University of Dundee medical school.
She said: “I use the app to record both formal and informal learning. For me it’s a place to think, to make notes when I come across something to follow up.
“I use it at least once a week most weeks. It’s particularly useful when I want to make a quick note of what I need to do. The ‘set a reminder’ feature is really handy.”
For me it’s a place to think, to make notes when I come across something to follow up.
To date, 9,000 doctors are registered as users of the app. Find out more including how to download it at www.gmc-uk.org/cpdapp.
The app will not run on a rooted or jailbroken device. This is in line with guidance sought from a leading information security partner on the serious information risks associated with running applications on a rooted or jailbroken device.
If you’re already using GMC My CPD, we’d love to hear what your favourite feature is or about a time when it came in useful. We’d also like to hear your suggestions for improving the app so we can make it as useful as possible. Let us know what you think in the comment boxes below.
Dr John Bainton is an ST6 in General Adult Psychiatry and a clinical fellow at the General Medical Council under the National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellowship scheme 2015-2016, sponsored by Sir Bruce Keogh, and managed by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management. At the GMC, he is based in the Intelligence and Insight Unit within the Strategy and Communications directorate, working on the GMC’s data strategy, intelligence modelling and fitness to practice policy reforms.