Time to inspire a new generation of GP activists

Doctors have a long history of activism and that spirit is clearly showing through in the programme for this year's RCGP Annual Conference.

Dr Sam Merriel

There are two key sessions for delegates who want to find ways to channel their dissatisfaction with the current climate in politics or healthcare, or who are seeking a stronger voice for their patients.

In the session on Doctors as Activists (E1, Friday afternoon) a mix of speakers from medicine and the media will aim to inspire delegates to respond to the social injustices they see in their working lives, developing new skills and methods to create an impact for the better.

The session will be chaired by Dr Sam Merriel, Academic GP Registrar and Research Lead on the RCGP Junior International Committee.

He said: ‘GPs witness social injustice daily, and have a keen sense of how events such as Brexit, or the dismantling of the NHS, impact on our patients. We hope this session will inspire participants to take their skills to the next level and engage with advocacy or activism locally, nationally or internationally.

‘We will also offer examples of interesting new challenges to take on that might inspire them to diversify and consider an alternative portfolio career.’

The consequences of the EU referendum are examined in a session entitled Brexit and our NHS: Rising Above a Rise in Racism (D6, Friday morning). The workshop will offer an opportunity to reflect and consider one’s own experiences of prejudice and racism, as well as learning effective approaches to deal with such situations. Session lead Dr Ula Chetty, RCGP representative to the Vasco da gama Movement, said participants would improve their awareness of relevant legislation and how to confidently manage racial harassment.

Full coverage of the RCGP annual conference 2017

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