24th WONCA Europe Conference 2019: Day 1 Report

WONCA Europe Council Meeting

The WONCA Europe Council met today for its annual meeting prior to the start of the 24th WONCA Conference, which this year is being held in Bratislava. 

The President's Report and Past President's Report were shared during the meeting. Presentations were also given on the European Journal of General Practice and on WONCA Europe's current communication strategy. 

The 2022 WONCA Conference bid was presented by the Royal College of General Practitioners, who will be hosting the 2022 Conference, and the 2019 winners of the WONCA Europe 5-Star Doctor Award, the Montegut Global Scholar, and the Scholarship Programme also shared some words. 

The 2019 WONCA Europe election results were held during the Meeting. You can see the results here


24th WONCA Europe Conference: the opening ceremony 

The opening ceremony was held at the Slovak National Theatre, and included an impressive traditional Slovakian show.

Michaela Macháčová, the President of the WONCA Europe Conference 2019, shared some key figures with us: 

  • A total of 1,887 have registered for the conference this year. 
  • 206 presentations will be held in 77 workshops. 
  • There will be six plenary sessions. 
  • The highest number of registrations come from Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands. 
  • Registration by gender: 60% women and 40% men are at the conference this year. 

Remarks were given from representatives from the Sloack Society of Medicine, the State Secretary of the Slovak Republic, the Director of the Slovak Medical Univsersity, the President of the Slovak Medical Association, the WHO country office representative, and from the WONCA World President Elect and the WONCA Europe President. 

The opening ceremony was closed by Professor Amanda Howe with her keynote speech: ‘The common touch’ - how understanding our own humanity helps us to empower others". During her speech Amanda discussed addressing the problems of patients holistically, empowering the patient – allowing them to express their ideas, concerns and expectations, and the need to acknowledge the background of a patient's problems, and give them the hope of recovery. Amanda also emphasised the importance of family doctors looking after their own well being. She finished with a quote from the paediatrician Sir James Spence who defined the consultation as: 

"the occasion when, in the intimacy of the consulting room, a person seeks the advice of a doctor whom he trusts. This is a consultation and all else in the practice of medicine derives from it."