Interview: Davorina Petek, Chairwoman for EGPRN

Interview with Davorina Petek, Ljubljana, Slovenien, Chairwoman EGPRN – European General Practice Research Network –

1. What do you expect from the 2020 conference in Gothenburg?

We expect to have a very interesting conference: good scientific presentations, which will show the latest research findings and an overview on the topic Digital medicine and e-health. Other good research projects from other areas will also be presented. Furthermore we have a time slot for research ideas, where each idea/protocol gets a 10 minute term for a short presentation and discussion. There are so many other activities that I can’t mention them all, but at least some are: preconference workshops on conference topic and research methods, research caffe, which offers a possibility of quick discussion with expert researcher about specific research problem in a very informal way during the lunch break, very nice format of poster presentation with a lot of interest from the participants, etc.

2. Why should Swedish general practitioners attend the conference?

I would say that those GPs, who are thinking that research is interesting, or have some minor  experience, or already are experienced researchers will find our conference very interesting and different from others in many ways: the topics and usefulness of research, that is close to everyday work in GP, the familiarity of problems, that are addressed in presentations, lively and constructive discussions lasting 15 minutes for each presentation and several other activities going on. There isn’t a single boring hour.  We are especially proud that we work in a friendly atmosphere, where we are respectful to the presenters and comment their work with enthusiasm for learning, sharing experience, expertise and advice. 

And – last but not least – we have a nice social programme, a lot of socializing and dancing at the social night at the end of the conference. So the best advice is to come and see for yourselves!

3. What type of organisation is EGPRN?

You can read about EGPRN (European General Practice Research Network) at the web site and follow us on Social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube). It is a network within Wonca Europe, that is joining general practitioners and other health professionals, such as psychologists, sociologists, nurses, public health researchers, epidemiologists etc, who are involved in research in primary care and family medicine. Formally it is a nonprofit foundation, registered in Maastricht. Currently we have 216 individual members and 45 institutional members (Departments at the Universities, Research Institutes, Colleges, Family/general medicine Associations all around Europe).

4. What does EGPRN mean for European general practice?

EGPRN promotes research and brings European researchers together. Research is necessary to provide scientific evidence base for our discipline, to increase quality in care delivery and in medical education.  EGPRN enables networking of people, presentation of research, discussions and learning about research. We welcome researchers from all countries, everyone brings something interesting and fresh to others. Within EGPRN “family”, members can organise groups for collaborative research. One of the biggest is Orenas research group that gathers researchers from 26 countries, including Sweden. They bring new insights on early recognition of cancer in primary care.

An important achievement of EGPRN was a document describing European research agenda for family medicine. It was written 10 years ago and it is time to update it according to new trends and needs into European research strategy. And last, but not least, EGPRN developed web-based course for new researchers offering basic understanding of all stages of research.