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June 22nd 2014

James

Medical Education

I have put another of Ian Roddie's articles – A Critique of Fashion in Medical Education – up on the site. This paper, published in the New York State Journal of Medicine in 1986, was based upon a lecture that he gave in June 1985 at a symposium on “Medical Education in the 21st Century”. It would not be out of place in a list of 'required reading' for students and teachers alike regardless of their subject of education. To whet your appetite to read the full article I have copied a paragraph from it here:

'There is a widespread belief that students spend too much time memorizing facts and that we should reduce scheduled teaching time and the amount of material we expect them to learn. Superficially this is attractive but it worries me for the following reason. I do not think we can understand anything well unless we first take the trouble to immerse ourselves in the facts. Initially, they may seem confusing and disconnected and the subject as a whole may not make sense. Though this is a depressing phase, it is important to learn to press on. If we keep grinding on, the pertinent facts drop into place eventually, and the subject as a whole begins to hang together. Concepts emerge. It is a very rewarding and exciting intellectual experience, when, as we say, the penny drops.'

Research

There are few things that manage to break through my shell of middle-aged crabbiness but an article in the Daily Telegraph yesterday, reporting on a paper in the journal Social Psychology, did briefly raise a smile:

'Grumpy people make better workers than their cheerful colleagues – because they are more focused. Researchers found grumpy people spend a lot of time on fewer activities, meaning they often perform better at their job because they hone their skills in specific tasks. The findings may have implications for understanding the development of expertise. For example, a person with a happy attitude, known as a 'liker', may adopt a jack of all trades approach, investing small amounts of time in a wide variety of things, making them somewhat useful at many tasks. In contrast, when their polar opposites, called 'haters', find an activity they actually like, they may invest a much greater amount of time in it, allowing them to develop a higher skill level.'

Isn't it wonderful to read 'research' that not only confirms one's own prejudices but also gives one the excuse to carry on being as cantankerous as ever?

Lip-synching

Tom and some of his university friends spent a few days in Norfolk recently and decided to produce a 'road-trip' video of the car journey which Tom has now loaded up onto YouTube. The lip-synching to 'Love is an open door' from the film Frozen, which starts at exactly three minutes into the video, is well worth a view! Watch the whole video or, alternatively, just watch the lip-sync excerpt below.

 

 

 





   
 
Nightrider 2014 finishers!
         
With our tandem   Nightrider starters   Nightrider starters
First refreshment break by Tower Bridge   Crossing Tower Bridge on a Tandem   The view from Waterloo bridge at 4.00am
         

June 14th 2014

James

Nightrider

It was at a pre-Christmas dinner last year that Mary became very excited – I blame the wine – with our friend Annette's idea to participate in a London Night Ride. I would have to admit that I was less enthusiastic as I can think of several much better things to do at night – like sleep! – but, with the promise from Mary that she would be 'bike-fit' by training hard for two or three months before the event in June, I agreed to take part.

With several weeks to go, and Mary's bicycle still firmly wrapped up in its cobwebs in the cellar, I had resigned myself to the fact that the sixty mile round-London trip was going to take us more than just one night to complete and that there might be tears along the way. It was the sight of a father and daughter on a tandem – the man struggling and the girl giggling as she removed her feet from the pedals – that gave me the idea of hiring a tandem and I suggested the possibility to Mary. The mixture of delight and relief on her face made it clear that she had been equally concerned about just how enjoyable the ride might be and, within an hour, she had contacted and hired a bicycle-made-for-two from a company near Waterloo Bridge.

Thus it was that, on a beautifully clear and warm Saturday evening a week ago today, Annette, James, Sarah, Lucy, Mary and I loaded four bicycles and one tandem into the back of a New Victoria Hospital van (thank you Barbara!) and set out for Crystal Palace and, at exactly 11.05pm, we were off. Highlights of the ride were the breaks every fifteen miles at Tower Bridge, the Olympic Park next to the velodrome, Alexandra Palace and the Imperial War museum; riding at speed down St John's Avenue in Hampstead with Mary suggesting that we slow down; the view from Waterloo bridge at 4 o'clock in the morning; and the finish line.

 

 





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