It is an honour to write about my experience of attending my first IAHCP Conference in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Medical Education was something that intrigued me since I qualified as a doctor. My vision was to pass on knowledge that I acquired during my training to the future cohort of junior doctors and perhaps more importantly ensure that they understand the reality of being a doctor with all of its associated emotions, expectations and challenges. The IAHCP accepted my abstract to present my work at their conference that brings together all different health professionals from all over the world in one location which was a huge bonus: at the end of the day medical education is not only the responsibility of the doctors but that of the multidisciplinary team. I remember my first day as a junior doctor where it was the lovely nurse (or the healthcare assistant or phlebotomist on other occasions) that came and taught me how to cannulate a patient when she saw me wiping away the sweat on my forehead while anxiously palpating the vein. This is something I wanted my students to understand that the beauty of medicine lies in the multifaceted workforce that support their doctors in reaching their full potential.
It was my turn to present my work to the IAHCP audience. It was my first ever oral presentation and I am sure many of you can relate when I say that public speaking is not something that you were born with. However, the host of the conference, Professor Dr Daniella E.C.C.O.H Kingsley-Godwin, who is also an internationally renowned academic, guided me through my presentation and helped generate discussion points from my presentation which built my confidence. It became clear to me that this conference is NOT simply presentations on a conveyor belt as most conferences, the sessions were broken up appropriately to enable networking opportunities and group discussions on Public Health medicine including new advances in cancer research and management of world epidemics. Additionally after attending the conference you attain “Continuing Professional Development/Continuing Medical Education “points which are internationally recognised.
I would like to thank Professor Dr Daniella E.C.C.O.H Kingsley Godwin and her team for giving me this opportunity. These opportunities are available for all healthcare professionals and I am ever so grateful that the IAHCP does its uppermost best to support especially those in their early career stages to build their confidence and career potential. It showed me that global networking and sharing your research with others is something that sets us apart from other careers and this should be encouraged. I have therefore taken on a leadership and managerial role as the Junior Doctor Representative of IAHCP to facilitate their ongoing work and help colleagues to get involved in our Association.
I can only urge you to have a look at the conferences which are organised throughout the year and in different parts of the world and I would be happy to meet you all there and support you with the same welcoming warmth that I received when I attended my first IAHCP conference.
Dr Piru Pathmarajah MBBS BSc MRCP
Junior Doctor Representative of IAHCP
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