LOVAH conference – every year, the Dutch GP’s in training host a fantastic conference exchange. It’s honestly not an opportunity to miss so check out the application. Deadline November 15th.
RCGP annual conference
The conference is finally over. Apparently more than 1200 delegates attended the conference with over 160 speakers. There were some controversial moments (no names mentioned, Jeremy Hunt) but some pretty inspirational moments too. My one objective this conference was to see something not-JIC related and I managed to get myself to a lecture by Prof David Haslam (chief of NICE) about “the Uncertain Physician” which is something I feel quite strongly about because I struggled immensely, as a trainee, with the responsibility faced in general practice managing uncertainty (I probably still do). I know that the conferences are expensive and may seem like a waste of time to many but I do recommend you go at least once – there’s something really great about connecting with others especially when it can feel so isolated in the community. It’s a great opportunity to meet senior RCGP members (Helen Stokes-Lampard and Mayur Lakhani came to the young doctors social evening as well as the Gala dinner) whether you like them or not. I know that some of the JIC members have, fueled by a little Dutch courage, given them some of their political minds in the past which can only raise awareness with the issues that we face. And I have to admit, they did listen and there was a discussion. If you want to come next year and you don’t know anyone, just email me Chairjic@rcgp.org.uk and I’ll connect you to all the social events but I’m pretty certain you’ll have a good time without me.
Obviously I’m going to say the JIC workshops. We had four in total accepted which was a big surprise (this is a lot) and I’m just so proud of the team for their great ideas and brilliant execution of these seminars.
The seminar on e-health got people thinking about how modern technology could be used to promote and monitor health in low-resource settings. What really impressed me about this talk were the small group discussions and how the audience really engaged in coming up with ideas on how to solve health problems using smart phones, apps and the web. Whoever came up with the idea to tweet all of the suggestions was genius. Check out #jictech to get a flavour of the ideas.
Ula’s talk on Brexit and the rise of racism was brilliant (I had the honour of presenting two slides) and got mentioned in the College newsletter and on GPonline. The discussion was very much around the permission that Brexit gave for expressing racist views and how we, as doctors, should act if witnessing or receiving racism. Some pretty interesting stories were shared, especially by those who worked in areas that voted “Leave”. This was picked up by Dr Mayur Lakhani, the next RCGP President, and colleagues who felt inspired that young doctors cared about the effect of racism on doctors and colleagues. I think their exact words were “This is the most diverse audience we have seen at the conference both in terms of age and nationality.” Who knows? There may be some RCGP guideline coming out on how to effectively navigate experiences of discrimination, direct or indirect, towards NHS front-line staff. It’s all looking very promising.
Sam and Hannah’s seminar on ‘Doctors as Activists’ was truly inspiring. With guest speakers from Doctors for Justice, BBC radio and Doctors of the World, they really made us think about our roles as GP’s to advocate for ourselves and for our patients. We have a very unique vantage point when we interact with members across the whole society, from the most privileged to the most vulnerable. When I think of most of my school friends who have gone from private school to university to their white collar jobs, it make your wonder what exposure they have outside their echochamber. In the words of Malala Yousafzai: “I raise up my voice – not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard”
Dragon’s Den was Cemal’s baby and the theme was “What can we import to improve healthcare in the UK?”. We had seven presentations spanning from Japan (mine), Qatar, Uganda, Portugal, New Zealand and Thailand and there were some pretty nifty suggestions and some pretty tough questions from the Dragon’s. Lillian from Uganda won with her proposition of technology that would allow community health workers in rural areas to link up with GP’s to meet the workforce deficit. We’ve had some interest from research organisations on this concept so we may even get some funding for a prize! I’m definitely going to work on my submission again next year to get that top spot!!!
Further to this, we had a fantastic session where the Japanese delegates presented their posters at the RCGP stand and not only am I really proud that they gave great presentations but also aced the questions from the audience. I always get super sweaty palms and palpitations when I get to the question bit so I can’t imagine doing that in a second language. Likewise, the international delegates (who the JIC hosted from Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Uganda, Nigeria, Nepal, Brazil and Pakistan) nailed their poster presentations drawing a huge crowd for the last session on the Friday (which is usually where everyone starts flagging and the audience gets a bit thin).
For the rest of it, I hope the photos tell the story x