Medical Jellybeans with @TheTopEnd

Jellybeans. Conversations with Care. The Jellybeans started here and are now also hosted on (The Original) & This is the complete collection. Sometimes containing more controversial offerings.

Jellybean 2 with @KeeWeeDoc

Jellybean Number one! I am calling it Jellybean number two because thats the way it is over on

The very first person I recorded a Jellybean with was Andre Bonny aka @keeweedoc.

He is a Rural Hospital Generalist of the New Zealand flavour. I had not spoken to him for a year so I wanted to catch up and see how he was going. Interestingly his most recent post was called “Biting off more than you can chew”

I skyped him and Andre still lives and works in one of the most spectacular places on earth; Greymouth, New Zealand. (Google that!) He does a dual training program of Rural Hospital Medicine and General Practice. Greymouth looks beautiful. The opportunity to work there is filled with benefits. However, he knew that his medical education experience out there was going to be very different, very minimal, and so he thought about this and decided to teach himself, and people like me, on his one man Free Open Access Medical education (#FOAMed) website.

From very early in this training path he has shared the ups and the downs with the entire planet on Andre has put his free time into this. How he has free time I don’t know; still in training, 60 plus hours a week and a growing family.

Its interesting when you look at the people that commented on his first post in June 2012 and see names that have gone on to do a lot of other #FOAMed stuff.

He and I met at SMACC 2013.

We had a super short light hearted Vox Pop or Dox Pop of less than 3 minutes.

(Never heard of the All Blacks? If you’re not from this side of the earth and the Lord of the Rings, Flight of the Conchords and the All Blacks haven’t emphasised the difference between Australia and New Zealand enough; Rugby is the national sport of New Zealand and the All Blacks are the national rugby team, something like a “Dream Team” for Rugby Union.)


So you’ve started a blog or a website, how can you maintain the enthusiasm?

Andre has done a pretty impressive job of maintaining the rage. In fact his increasing parenting commitments inspired a new feature to his site; The Question Of The Day or #QOTD. This started after his daughter burned her hand on New Years Eve. He managed to put a new question up almost every day for 66 days.

Biting off more than you can chew is the post that closes an enormously popular series which attracted around a thousand site visits a day. (Congratulations to @chrispartyka of the excellent, who was runner up and to @jjlarkin78, winner of the Marathon #FOAMed session.)

So a daily post was tiring Andre out but not burning him out. So after nearly two years blogging what has Andre learned, what advice would he give to someone thinking about starting out.

“You need to decide what your goal is.” says Andre.

What’s in it for you? Because it’s you that are going to drive this forward. Will you still be pushing it days, months, years down the line? For Andre it was started for his own education and development. This could be said of many of the best #FOAMed blogs; @andyneill of or @cliffreid of

Andre also feels that before you jump on in there and get down to business hold back a bit. If you do twitter watch whats happening, see who does what and how and see if its right for you. You can catch up on a lot of the best #FOAMed by searching @FOAMstarter and following the 25 people listed. This is run by Haney Mallemat aka @CriticalCareNow

If you think theres better #FOAMed out there then tell Haney, he will want to know. If you think you can do better, if you know what your goal is, then maybe its Business Time.

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This entry was posted on April 3, 2014 by in Pure Jellybeans.

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