Preparing for the RCGP annual conference

If you wish to be interviewed or even write an article for the blog (or know someone who should be), let me know here! I prefer to include GP’s in training and within the first five years of qualifying but, even if you’re not, don’t worry! Feel free to pitch and we can always discuss. Also, I’m looking more for insights and personal reflections rather than reports of what people have been up to so if you can think of a different angle, you’re more likely to get in!

Also, there’s a new conference exchange opportunity in Zagreb, Croatia for 7-9th December. Email for details.

The Big AC

So this RCGP annual conference is one of the prerequisite events that the JIC are expected to attend, as stipulated by our contract with the RCGP International. This year, it is in Liverpool which is especially poignant for me because I did my Diploma in Tropical Medicine here which has left me with three months of very happy memories and some pretty long-standing inspirational friendships.

The prep for the conference started pretty much as soon as WONCA was finished in May although the workshops were submitted in December last year. The theme this year is “Forward together: How do we lead primary care to the next level?”

The RCGP conference is an interesting event. It’s obviously very UK-centric but the RCGP International work hard to bring an international flavour every year. There are delegates from Japan, as part of the Japan-UK exchange, and, this year, the RCGP International are hosting delegates from China. For the first time ever, the JIC are hosting five GP’s early in their careers from all over the world (Nepal, Uganda, Brazil, Pakistan, and Nigeria) and five from Europe as part of a conference exchange. We’ve managed to secure some funding from each RCGP faculty to subsidise this visit for which we are very grateful. We know that primary care is key to solving access to healthcare in many low-resource settings and having the opportunity to observe an established primary care system will hopeful stimulate discussion and inspire innovation.  There’s an Economist article about ‘why developing countries must improve primary care’, which is worth a read. By the way, when I say ‘we managed to secure funding’ what I really mean is Sinan, the previous Chair before me landed the deal, but I’m happy to take the credit…

From the JIC point of view, Ula (our Vasco Da Gama rep) does all the hard work when it comes to the conference exchange with the ten international delegates. She has had to do the shortlisting, the  paperwork for the visas, finding of host practices for shadowing, and organising of social events. She’s also running a workshop on how Brexit affected the mood of primary care this year. That’s one busy lady. The Research Team are usually on hand to ensure that all the workshops are prepared for in good time and we are, as a team, co-ordinated in our efforts. The Image Team have their hands full preparing brochures, collating leaflets and making sure that we have a presence at the event (the T-shirts that we wear are their creation). Cemal, our Deputy Chair, has the task of making sure that everyone on the team is booked to come to the conference but he is also leading on an awesome Dragon’s Den workshop where candidates get to pitch global health ideas to our Dragons. (This year it’s Terry Kemple and Maureen Baker and mystery international guest!). This went down so well last year so I’m pretty excited about what’s going to get pitched this year! It’s at 8am on the Saturday (oof!) but it’s going to be worth it!! Further to this, the Beyond Europe team host the Japanese delegates who are over as part of the Japan-UK exchange. I help out here but the hard work is definitely done by these two. So all in all, it’s a pretty busy run up to the conference.

I agree that the conferences do cost money and are not cheap but can be worthwhile learning and networking event plus it gives you a ridiculous number of CPD points. If you have a study budget, you can apply for funding there but often there’s competing interests when it comes to where to spend this. A good alternative is checking with your local faculty for funding which are usually awarded several months in advance (if you haven’t applied this year, there’s always 2018). My general advice here is that remember that it is your local faculty that is paying for these prizes so you might want to include in your submission what it brings back to your local population and your local services as well as what an amazing experience it will be for you.

The best bit of the conference for me is definitely the socials. There’s an AiT/First5 social on the Thursday night which we’ll all be out with in force so come and say hi if you’re coming! It’s held at Revolucion de Cuba which is on Albert Docks, not far from the conference centre and I’m looking forward to joining forces with Dr Sophie Lanaghan (AiT Chair) and Dr Jodie Blackadder-Weinstein (First5 Chair) to welcome all the young GP’s. Get your tickets here if you’re planning to come.

Also, for those of you who are at a loose end on the Friday night and are also not going to the Gala dinner, we will be hosting an informal fun dinner. Add your details here if you’d like to come!

I don’t think there’s much more to know about the RCGP annual conference but certainly if you do plan to come, please send your mobile number to so that we can put you on a whatsapp group so we can plug you in with what we and other like-minded GP’s are up to.

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Me photo-bombing essentially what would have been a lovely photo of Claire (VDGM president) and Ula (VDGM rep) at last year’s conference

Where we will be…

Thursday 12th October

11:45 Japanese poster presentation

16:00 Taking advantage of new technologies to develop innovative patient services in low income settings

17:15 Primary Care for Chinese Patients in the UK and in Asia

Social: AiT/F5 dinner and drinks

Friday 13th October

11:30 Brexit and our NHS – Rising above a rise in racism

13:45 Doctors as activists

17:45 Ten junior GP’s from all over the world will provide snappy and engaging poster presentations

Social: Gala dinner or informal dinner 

Saturday 14th October

08:00 Dragon’s Den: Could you idea change UK primary care?

See you there!!!

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