The Omni Group
These forums are now read-only. Please visit our new forums to participate in discussion. A new account will be required to post in the new forums. For more info on the switch, see this post. Thank you!

Go Back   The Omni Group Forums > OmniFocus > Applying OmniFocus
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

 
OmniFocus and GTD for Medical School Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi all,

I just wanted to start a specific thread for use of OF/GTD in medical school... I know there's been contributions about this subject in other threads, but it seems to me there's enough dispersed interest to warrant a specific thread.

I'm going to be starting med school next week, coming from a very wird background. I recently finished a Ph.D. in a very unrelated field (humanities), and towards the end I started applying GTD to my research/writing with much success. I'd love to see it translate to med school, but my experience trying to apply GTD to the pre-med classes I was taking while doing the Ph.D. thing wasn't so great. I'd very much like to hear other people's experiences and suggestions, and by no means do I think this should be restricted to medical school experiences; there's obviously a lot of common grounds with many different experiences. One of the particular challenges of med school organization as I see it, though, is that it's much more of a mixed experience than other forms of grad school: from the first two "pre-clinical" years consisting mostly (but not only) of classes, to the hospital rotations, licensure exams etc. My hope is obviously that GTD/OF could help manage this mess.

1) My initial concern is with respect to classwork. Unlike a research assignment, where my own experience tells me that GTD can be very powerful, med school classes are mostly ([un]fortunately?) about memorization. One very interesting post I found on this is here: http://tinyurl.com/mdphpf (Ryan B's comment). I'm a sucker for shiny electronic toys, but I thoroughly agree with this: "Towards the end of my studying I had two big revelations: PAPER is awesome, especially when trying to memorize dozens of drugs and their side effects."
At the same time, a lot of people seem to benefit from entering their notes in electronic format (see e.g. Lucas's post http://tinyurl.com/m6bnk3 )
I could envisage the benefits of taking paper notes/brainstorming PLUS entering those notes into OO or equivalent (repetition = memorization), but I'm concerned this could quickly become overwhelming. What do folks out there do/think about this issue?

2) The question of managing classes themselves (assignments, etc.). Do you do it in OF itself or in another application? There's been suggestions for both: Lucas and whpalmer4 presented screenshots of their school workflows of great relevance (http://tinyurl.com/l5fr98 and http://tinyurl.com/nmma8x ). But there's also been suggestions of using a stand-alone application (with possible links to OF, see e.g. http://tinyurl.com/nkmlp6 ) to manage assignments. No to re-ash completely the issue, I'd be very interested to know how in the specific context of med school or equivalent, people tie in this issue with 1) above. I.e., do you distinguish between classwork "content" (learning/reviewing stuff, completing assignments, etc.) and "management" (deadlines, admin, etc.)? Do you use different software for each? This seems to me an interesting problem for OF application of GTD as it is in a sense similar to the very debated question of reference material gestion/filing.

Looking forward to hear what others think, and I'd be delighted to hear from anybody else about to launch into/already in/through the med school adventure (if you want to start a "med school GTD support group" I'm up for it!).

Thanks!
 
Well, I'm a vet not a medic but I guess there's some crossover so I'll wade in. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypotyposis View Post
I could envisage the benefits of taking paper notes/brainstorming PLUS entering those notes into OO or equivalent (repetition = memorization), but I'm concerned this could quickly become overwhelming. What do folks out there do/think about this issue?
If you haven't already, check out what your school does re: provision of notes. You may find that a lot of the lecture courses provide a neat set of PDF notes, which cuts out a lot of the problem. If not (or if you do PBL, for example), I'd say that you need to either go paper or go digital for notes you take yourself (in lectures etc.) and stick with it. Transcribing will take a lot of time: in my class there were people who spent loads of time rewriting lecture notes and they weren't the ones who did well in exams. Whether you go paper or digital depends on how good a typist you are, I imagine. :) For managing text snippets, web links etc., personally I've found Yojimbo a great tool: there are a lot of other options though, such as DevonThink.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypotyposis View Post
2) The question of managing classes themselves (assignments, etc.). Do you do it in OF itself or in another application?
For this, I kind of stick to the GTD guidelines of actions that must be done on a specific date or time (plus tickler items like deadlines) going on my calendar (iCal) and actions to be done as soon as I can going in OF.

The only issue I've had is with managing clinical cases: I wanted initially to manage each case as a project in OF, but in the middle of a busy clinic day I'm just not good enough at pulling out my iPhone and entering stuff. Currently I carry a stack of 3 x 5 index cards, stick a case details label for each case on a card and write tasks for that case for the day on the card at morning rounds. Seems to work for me, but it means I don't have a "single trusted system". I'll go electronic on that one day, I promise! :)
 
Hi Al,

Thanks very much for your reply- and all my respect for doing the vet thing (I like the "We Treat More Species" T-shirts).

So indeed for Anat and Histo we get lecture notes provided by the school. Biochem is PBL. It seems that there is a large consensus on your suggestion of picking one of paper/digital and sticking with it. The need to have structures etc. means that I'm most likely going to go paper.
I like the idea of having Tickler items for deadlines, plus hard schedules on calendar. How do you schedule your studying, though? Do you enter reading/studying in your GTD system/in OF, or do you just do it in any "spare" time you find? I'm thinking having it in OF might help out, but then again if I want some regularity AND sticking to GTD principles, I'm thinking it might be worth it to hard schedule (calendar) studying blocks during my week, and deal with what I'm studying in those either through a sub-group of OF tasks (I could imagine creating a context: Study Time) or through a separate application. Does that sound reasonable?

As far as the clinical cases go, I've always done exactly the same thing you're doing (index cards). I could see how going electronic could potentially help with infection control (assuming you clean your hands before entering stuff on the iPhone); but paper is just incredibly fast and versatile.

Cheers!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypotyposis View Post
Thanks very much for your reply- and all my respect for doing the vet thing (I like the "We Treat More Species" T-shirts).
Believe it or not I've never seen those - will have a search online for them now though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypotyposis View Post
I like the idea of having Tickler items for deadlines, plus hard schedules on calendar. How do you schedule your studying, though? Do you enter reading/studying in your GTD system/in OF, or do you just do it in any "spare" time you find?
Now I'm working I tend to enter it in OF as it gets done in discretionary time (unless it's a scheduled CPD event, in which case it gets calendared). That said, if I was studying for a specific exam I'd likely hard landscape at least some time so that I'd definitely get it done (too easy for me to put it off if I leave it all discretionary!). I think your suggstion sounds reasonable - you can always modify your approach after a couple of weeks or so if you find it isn't working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypotyposis View Post
As far as the clinical cases go, I've always done exactly the same thing you're doing (index cards). I could see how going electronic could potentially help with infection control (assuming you clean your hands before entering stuff on the iPhone); but paper is just incredibly fast and versatile.
True. We have pretty strict hand hygiene guidelines, so even the cards aren't too much of a problem as long as I don't leave them lying around.

p.s. I really wish I'd read GTD (and that OF had been around) when I was doing my PhD. God I'd have got a lot more done. :)
 
 


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
where could I get medical stencils? superjmmj OmniGraffle Extras 0 2012-04-07 10:58 AM
Omnifocus & School anmpir OmniFocus Extras 2 2008-12-18 02:32 AM
OmniFocus and School Assignments Bernardonff OmniFocus Extras 3 2008-07-26 06:40 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.