Posted by on September 30, 2014 | 5 comments

You Don’t Need to Go Back to School to Change Career

Often when people think about changing career their biggest concern is: “What next? Will I have to go back to school?” Understandably they worry that the time and effort they invested in their current career will be wasted if they choose to move on. Moreover they will need to start from scratch in whatever new career they choose. Not so, I say! You don’t need to go back to school. You know enough; trust me. Here’s why: if you have spent years acquiring your current qualifications and then more time working in your current career or profession, you have valuable skills. Add to that the life experience that comes with the successes and challenges you’ve experienced, and you are already well placed to move on, change career, and create a new life for yourself. I understand your anxiety. I felt exactly the same when I was contemplating leaving a promising career in medicine. “All I know is how to be a doctor,” I kept telling myself. In my narrow...

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Posted by on September 23, 2014 | 0 comments

The Books That Changed My Life

I am always blown away when I get emails from people who have read my memoir, Postmortem – The Doctor Who Walked Away. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to such humbling feedback as: “Your words have given me peace and strength” and “I have been so moved by your book and your courage”. Books have always been an important part of my life. I was the proverbial “book worm” as a child, and even now I always have at least one book on my bedside table (though often there are more!). It is therefore very humbling for me to realise that my work is having such an impact on the people who read it. This week I’ve decided to share some of my top reads; the books that changed my life. When I left medical practice 10 years ago I was leaping into the unknown, and I had to learn to recreate my life and get clear on my priorities. Naturally I turned to books for guidance;...

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Posted by on September 16, 2014 | 0 comments

What Do You Need to Lose Before You Will Change?

This week I very nearly lost the plot. I’m an old-school writer and I make all my notes in those A4 counter books, like the ones we used to use at school. I have always found that writing my drafts in this way helps to get my creative juices going; thereafter I type up the more polished work and save it on my laptop. Some weeks ago I started working on a new writing project and this week I planned to pick it up again. But the problem was I couldn’t find where I’d made my notes. I looked in all my recent counter books, and still the work I’d so diligently begun was nowhere to be found. I was close to tears yesterday when I finally conceded that I would need to start from scratch. I also had to acknowledge that the days of writing my notes in paper books needed to come to an end. My old-fashioned writing system may have its benefits, but I realise now...

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Posted by on September 9, 2014 | 0 comments

Put Your Talents to Work

“Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein The world is full of fish desperately trying to climb trees. One of the biggest failings of our education system is that it aims to mould children into future workers, people who will fit into a system created to perpetuate the status quo. It is very seldom that young people’s talents are nurtured and encouraged. Is it any wonder that levels of work dissatisfaction are so high? We all have talents, both those we are born with and those we cultivate through passion and diligent practise. What would it be like if we all did work that makes the most of these talents and taps into our true genius? Often we ask: What are my talents? Where does my genius lie? We cannot discover our genius for as long as we devote our energy to work and activities that...

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Posted by on September 2, 2014 | 0 comments

Breakdown to Breakthrough

Years ago, when I was young, foolish and obsessed with the cultivation of physical beauty, I started an intense body sculpting programme based on a book by a famous personal trainer and body builder. The programme, a punishing 12 weeks of toning exercises punctuated by short, sharp bursts of cardiovascular exercise and accompanied by an uninspiring diet of cottage cheese, eggs and leafy vegetables, promised outstanding results. The premise of the programme was that the intense weight training stresses the muscles to the point of causing micro-breakages in the muscle fibres. The subsequent healing process, aided by the high-protein diet, results in the laying down of new muscle and thus the development of the lean, mean body I was after. I’m not contemplating repeating this experience. I’ve arrived at a point in my life where I’ve stopped believing that it is necessary to inflict pain on myself in order to fit some externally defined model of beauty. I am remembering this experience because, although I no longer subscribe to...

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