Attending the WONCA World Conference in Rio was definitively a fulfilling unique experience.
I was able to establish some relevant networking with colleagues (residents and specialists), from different sociocultural backgrounds, sharing visions, hopes and experiences regarding Family Medicine practice.
The Conference’s programme shows the diversity of issues discussed in order to promote the continuous growth on individualized quality primary health care practice. Its structure on main topics, made choosing the most suitable themes to me a much easier task, in order to tailor my own conference’s programme on those five days.
I was able to reinforce my soft and practical skills in intra-uterine contraception and periarticular infiltrations procedures at two different workshops; techniques to which I already had contact during my residency in Portugal, widening my scope of care for patients with muscle-skeletal problems.
Furthermore, at other three sessions about frequent mental health problems, quaternary’s prevention applied to these mental issues and approach to addictions, I was able to further improve my understanding of the importance of health professional’s self-awareness while dealing with patients and families with these problems, valuing communication, empathy, putting aside the wish to correct their behaviour. This was in line with one activity I had during my residency at S. João do Estoril - ‘’Vivências que nos transformam’’- side-meetings to promote residents and specialists self-awareness during daily practice.
During this period, I also had the opportunity to visit two family units (‘’Clínicas da Família’’), Rocinha and Luiz Celio Pereira. At these two different places I acknowledge the pros and cons of their organization, resources and the similarities and differences between our primary health care units in Portugal. Their development was somehow parallel to ours (“Unidades de Saúde Familiar”), although three years later. This public health care system tries to promote equity, overcoming the well-known social and economic gaps in this metropolis with more than 6 million people. It was visible to all of us the importance of self-determination and multi-professional teamwork at the units as an engine to facilitate this process, making it possible to face daily challenges that may come up more easy, sharing a common goal: offering high quality health care to all people, that result in a more healthy and resilient population.
Overall I came up with new ideas to take care of my patients, by observing and listening to different realities, sharing my own professional and personal experience in health care practice.