Featured MO: The Royal College of General Practitioners

Greetings to our European colleagues!

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is delighted to be invited to contribute to the WONCA Europe newsletter. Having been established in 1952, we are the largest college in Europe and one of the three largest in the world, with 53,000 members from across almost 100 countries.

Our motto is 'cum scientia, caritas' or 'compassion underpinned by knowledge' and we truly believe that family medicine delivers patient-centred evidence-based care, which is more evident in times such as now. Naturally, the focus is now on COVID-19, which is the RCGP’s absolute priority, so we have been doing our utmost best to support our members to deal with the crisis, which has a dual focus – on professional support as well as wellbeing support. https://www.rcgp.org.uk/covid-19. This portal is free for members as well as non-members, and members can also access a separate forum for discussions and sharing ideas.

A strong primary care system is essential in providing healthcare for all, and training and education is a foundation block for this. At our International Department, we endeavour to work with partners in countries such as India, China, Kosovo and Kuwait to strengthen primary care training worldwide.

We are committed to supporting our family doctors who are in training and within the first five years of qualifying and we are proud to have the RCGP Junior International Committee who serve our British GPs early in their career who are interested in global health and international primary care. We are also collaborating with the WONCA Vasco da Gama Movement (VdGM) to host the 7th VdGM Forum in Edinburgh, an event run by young doctors for young doctors.

International delegates are invited to attend our RCGP annual conference, currently scheduled for the 11-13th February 2021, held in Glasgow, Scotland. This is an opportunity for the brightest and best to join together to share learning and ideas of innovation. We also have international membership for those who wish to access our training resources and to create local communities for family medicine.

In 2022, WONCA will come to London and we are honoured to be given the opportunity to host our own WONCA Europe conference. We hope that this will be an opportunity to ensure ongoing European collaboration for future years to come and to showcase what British primary care has to offer.

We wish you strength in these trying times and we urge you to lean on each other for support and sustenance.

Professor Mike Holmes