CPD doesn’t have to be a chore

3 minute read

Turn continuing education into an enriching hobby with these five hacks from our expert.

Struggling to achieve 50 hours of continuing professional development?

Then struggle no more: medical education expert Professor Candid shares his top five CPD hacks.

1. Just don’t do it

This civil disobedience approach only works if enough GPs decide not to do it as well. In different contexts this can be described as a revolutionary act, or an insurrection, or if you happen to be a 15th-century pirate it’s also known as a mutiny. Make sure you can handle the fallout: you may be asked to walk the plank in front of your jeering colleagues, which could be a bit embarrassing.

2.  Dilate time

Choose your educational activities carefully: always pick a one-hour webinar that promises five hours of CPD over a five-hour webinar that promises only one hour of CPD. It’s surprising how many educational activities there are out there that not only provide you with a lot of dreary information about bunions but which also in some inexplicable way are able to manipulate the very fabric of space and time itself.

3. Pastimes and hobbies

Be bold and list your pastimes as legitimate CPD activities. Like everybody else, you’re probably quite a peculiar individual who enjoys weird shit even though you go around trying to pass yourself off as normal. However, if you enjoy unicycling or dressing up your favourite shop-mannequin Henrietta, or panning for gold or obsessively drawing the inside of somebody’s screaming mouth, or even writing a blog which quite frankly would be better off left unwritten, then include it in your 50 hours of CPD – it’s bound to demonstrate some kind of college-recognised competence. 

4. Harness the power of AI

Professor Candid would never advocate lying, but ChatGPT can be very useful for drawing up a professional development plan. If you’re working 60 hours a week at the practice, looking after children, attending updates, trying to keep a relationship together, plus walking a dog, then I think you can legitmately cut some corners.

For example, ask ChatGPT to write an abstract for publication:

BMJ Abstract

Objective This article presents a novel approach to improving health outcomes: the use of shop mannequins for therapeutic purposes. We describe how the process of purchasing and dressing up a shop mannequin can be used to improve mental and physical health outcomes.

Methods Data was collected in open format interview from two people (n=2) who have this peculiar hobby.

Conclusions Our research suggests that shop mannequins can be a valuable tool for providing a creative outlet and coping with stress.

5.  Make excuses

Say the patient ate your homework. We’ve all had at least one patient like that.

Now where did I put Henrietta?

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