Who am I? Robin Beaumont

I was born in Bedford UK on the 21st of January 1955 and went to the Royal College of music to study piano and organ after school. After finishing I decided that I had hadpic enough music and was more interested in other things. In fact in retrospect I would have really preferred to go and study Botany but failed to obtain the necessary grades!

I then trained as a nurse and worked at various hospitals including, Shotley Bridge, Freeman, Harefield and Atkinson Morleys in both the north of England and London, eventually ending up at the Dialysis and ITU units at the RVI (Newcastle upon tyne - UK). During this time I did a PGD in research methods and developed a simulation computer program to work out future service requirements for renal dialysis / transplantation. Did a nurse tutors course in York and ended up teaching at Good Hope hospital Birmingham UK, during which time I started to do a distance learning OU degree in Maths/ Statistics. I decided it would take too long and the NHS felt that IT skills where not necessary for nurses so dropped out of the NHS and did a one year full time MSc at UNN (Newcastle upon Tyne). During the MSc three of us became friends and set up a partnership Beaumont Coulson in 1991 which is still trading today although I left it as a partner in 1993 (www.bconline.co.uk)

I then became an independent consultant, (1993-present) and worked for various university departments amongst which included the Centre for Health Services Research and the Sowerby unit (now Schin) at Newcastle University I eventually accepted a lecturers post amongst which one of the aims was to set up courses for Specialist Registrars in Health informatics - I task I very much enjoyed and which was reflected in the success of the courses. Unfortunately the University did not feel that it was appropriate to develop the courses further to diploma/MSc level - So I felt that my job was done there in 1998. While at Newcastle I also acted as principle researcher for the first phase of Prodigy - a decision support tool for prescribing for GPs and devised a unit for the MBA at Durham University on Healthcare Information Systems. I realised that I loved teaching and hated research!

Since that time I have devoted much of my time to teaching Health Informatics and Communication skills on an ad hoc basis contributing to many courses. Since 1999 I have become more interested in Electronic Learning Environments (ELE) with the result that I have played a major role in helping set up the Diploma in Medical informatics at the RCSed in 1999 and more recently I have played a similar role in developing the joint MSc in Medical Informatics with the RCSed and Bath university and subsequently Edinburgh university. Teaching and developing several units on this course is now my major activity, specialising in systems development and evaluation methods. Along with teaching how to effectively use of the computer in the medical consultation

picFrom 2006 to 2008 Northumbria University, Psychology department asked me to help out in a number of roles, including the teaching of Structural Equation Modelling to the MSc students, a challenging but very enjoyable task. Some of the undergraduate students produced a interpretation of the picture opposite, and I couldn't resist adding it to the page.

My main lobby is now music being very fortunate in having a Steinway concert grand piano, I'm organist of Saint James's URC church in Newcastle upon Tyne UK (www.organplayers.co.uk), accompany Tynemouth choral society (http://www.tynemouthchoral.co.uk), and play regularly with a wind sextet (www.north-wind.co.uk) and also accompany various people. I am also incredibly fortunate to have a wonderful partner, Andrew since 1999.