The New Year has come and gone and it’s a good a time as any to reflect on the progress but also the challenges that the JIC has faced in the last 12 months. When 2017 still seemed fresh in January, the JIC still had Sinan as Chair and Sandy as Head of International and I was somewhere in Japan. And now I get to look back on this year and, yes, it’s been a really epic year for the JIC.
We welcome Cemal (Deputy Chair), Sam (Research Lead), Felicity (Research Deputy), Aliki (Image Lead), David (Image Deputy), Daniel (Beyond Europe Lead), Vongai (Beyond Europe Deputy), and Julia (Erasmus Deputy). As sad as I am to see the old JIC members leave, having such a new team is also very exciting. I spend time chatting on the phone to each of our new members to get to know them when they join and every time I can’t help feeling really stoked by the energy and the creativity! There is amazing diversity of experience in the new group and I have real CV envy – I’m excited about you (the reader) getting to know them over the next three years and watching them grow in their potential. Even in the short space of time, I feel a real connection and I am so excited about harnessing the energy of everyone in the group!
This obviously means that we had to say some goodbyes and that was for Eugene (Research Lead), Hannah (Research Deputy), Deepa (Image Lead) and Anushka (Image Deputy) and of course Sinan, our previous Chair. Thanks for all the inspiration and hard work and for driving the JIC collectively to where it is today.
Global Health Roadshows
We have submitted to the RCGP and have had accepted the Global Health Roadshow which are local Faculty-funded evening events. The idea is that we get to run low-key local evening events around the country. It’s still a prototype but we have managed London (December), Vale of Trent (March) and Mersey/North West (March) Faculties but we are trying really hard to get this locally to each area. These educational events are designed as a networking event but also for educational learning. We really hope that you take advantage of these and please do let me know at Chairjic@rcgp.org.uk if you would like to see one in your local area and we will try our utmost to make this happen.
This year we had an amazing one-day event (which I was unable to attend because I was in Japan) but it was met with such good feedback that we plan to bring it back in 2018. This is an opportunity to feel inspired and get networking. We had speakers from Doctors of the World and from the ex-JIC members to bring together a wealth of knowledge. Speakers are yet to be confirmed for the 2018 symposium but watch this space. We will not disappoint.
I’m not sure how hush hush this is supposed to be but we’re really hoping that this becomes a thing at the RCGP annual conference even though it was only a twinkle in Cemal’s eye two years ago. The idea is that everyone pitches an idea to our dragons (this year was Maureen Baker, Sandy Mathers and Terry Kemple) who then question the concept. Last year, the theme was what can the NHS learn from other countries. We had a great spread getting ideas from Thailand, Oman, Japan, Portugal and Uganda. It keeps getting better and fingers crossed the RCGP will allow us to run it as a regular event.
We have managed to secure a non-voting seat on the AiT and First5 committees. For those of you don’t know, the RCGP has two separate committees to represent the (non-global health) needs of GP’s early in their career. What I love about this collaboration is that we have an opportunity to work closer with GPs not within our echochamber. I appreciate that global health is not everyone’s thing but reaching out to the unconverted is one of my aims as Chair. Thank you to Jodie and to Sophie (Chairs of the First5 and AiT committees respectively) for their input and support on this.
New data protection laws
If you’ve been following the blog, you will know that I really believe that we, as general practitioners, have an incredible skill and we are an essential part of the workforce, whether that is in a low-income or high-income country. I feel that, if you choose to have an international career, that this should be a transparent career path and should be easy to navigate because the NHS needs people like us.