Reports from WONCA Europe bursary winners

At the recent WONCA world conference in Prague, WONCA Europe awarded a number of bursaries to assist with attendance. A number of these receipients have written reports for WONCA Europe. Wonca Europe also awarded the Montegut Global Scholar award (sponsored by the American Board of Family Medicine Foundation (ABFM-F) ) to Dr Anca Alexandra Matusz of Romania.

Bursary winners were:
  • Maranaj Marku -Albania
  • Artan Bitri -Albania
  • Graziela Moreto -Brasil
  • Ronen Brand -Israel
  • Rosa Avino -Italy
  • Sara Rigon -Italy
  • Tatyana Svitich -Kazakhstan
  • Viktor Tilman -Kazakhstan
  • Lazzat Zhamaliyeva -Kazakhstan
  • Tin Myo Han -Myanmar
  • Pratap Narayan Prasad -Nepal
  • Rachana Saha -Nepal
  • Monika Krasuska -Poland
  • Katarzyna Nessler -Poland
  • Krzysztof Bejnar -Poland
  • Oliveira Azevedo Pedro Miguel -Portugal
  • Izabela Corina Platon -Romania
  • Mihai Sorin Iacob -Romania
  • Juan MaríaRodríguez Martínez -Spain
  • Raquel Gómez Bravo -Spain
  • Pavlo Kolesnyk -Ukraine

Due to the large number of long and detailed reports, short excepts only are included to demonstrate the great value these bursaries have to their recipients.

Raquel Gomez Bravo : Spain

Thanks to the bursary I attended the Europe Council meeting... (and) heard the inspiring words of Richard Roberts, Michael Kidd, Margaret Chan and other incredible human beings that make us reflect and enrich ourselves from a personal and professional point of view.

... I can’t explain how amazing is to be present when Afriwon was born, the new young movement of Africa, with the support of all the other Young Movements of the world. And this was possible thanks to WONCA. We are writing the history of the Family Medicine, we are fighting for a better primary care around the world, because we care about it and this is the real potential of our organization…humanity.

… if we could do research together, fight for the same objectives, focus in the same problems, Primary Care would be the strongest speciality, because is the most important one. If you have a great GP in your community, this will be healthy; if you don’t, you will have a huge problem. This is the value of WONCA, like the treasurer of VdGM (Martin Sattler) said: “one voice for GPs”

Thanks for making the difference, thanks for your generosity once again.

photo:  Two bursary winners from Spain - Raquel Gomez Bravo (left) and Juan María Rodríguez Martínez (right) with WONCA Europe president, Prof Job Metsemakers.

Juan María Rodríguez Martínez : Spain

4th year GP trainee, Granada, Spain

... Regarding the conference I was amazed about the inauguration ceremony with so many Family physicians, the two concerts, and the speech of such an influent woman as Margaret Chan. I felt really fortunate to be there at that moment.

During the conference I met some of the Vasco da Gama members including its creator Dr Per Kallestrup and so many important people related with Family medicine such as Dr Iona Heath... I had the opportunity to attend to many speeches some of them really interesting as the ones organized by WWPWFM but for the most important was the in which Afriwon was born.

After the conference I think that during the trainee period is really important to have contact with what people all over Europe, and this time all around the world are working at, the differences and the similarities in our daily work so, together, we can improve little by little the quality of primary care.
I really encourage you to keep giving other people these grants so they can realize by themselves how big and wonderful is the specialty they have chosen, Family Medicine.

Lazzat Zhamaliyeva: Kazakhstan

…I would like to say some words about my impressions. General practitioners are special, they differ from other doctors. They looked like a one big family…
I was very impressed of the scene of inauguration ceremony, when Richard Roberts was passing his title to Michael Kidd. At the time of his speech Richard Roberts was excited, his voice was quivering and he hardly held back his tears. I saw an attitude of a person to his favorite pursuit in that, in which soul, many efforts and knowledge were invested. Such an emotional involvement and enthusiasm make you feel the same way, and truly respect and admire.

Tatyana Svitich: Kazakhstan

… Also knowledge and experience of my colleagues from other countries are very important. So reports about family medicine in Croatia and Australia were very cognitive for me. …

The speakers of the conference were really great. Especially I want to mention Richard Roberts-president of World Organization Of Family Doctors.

Using the materials and information of the conference I will organize the conference of family doctors in Semey city on November 11. 120 doctors will participate in the conference. I will spread the information among our doctors, which will be used in our everyday practice.

Izabela Corina Platon: Romania

… I attended many workshops with high scientific and epidemiological value. I was impressed by the fact that all GP doctors face the same problems in various places of the world and make efforts to solve them.

… I was impressed by the efforts that Brazilian doctors make to improve the medical care in isolated areas by creating teams for complete care. I visited a GP practice and make acquaintance shortly with the Czech medical system.

Krzysztof Bejnar: Poland

By meeting other participants I had a chance to discuss many problems related to my work and various ways to solve them. I particularly liked the heated discussions we had during the posters sessions

… Through networking, I met numerous GPs from other countries. I managed to overcome the language barrier thanks to my French and Russian language skills as well as to incredible openness of the participants.

The Congress showed me a way to conduct research in my work which will be valuable to others. Previously, I thought this was not possible in such a small GP practice that I run.

My experience encouraged me to become a member of WONCA and to actively promote its ideas. I will do my best to be able to participate in next congresses if possible.

Sara Rigon: Italy

photo of young doctors meeting in Prague

... It widens the horizons of younger generations of doctors putting them in contact with colleagues and professionals from all over the world also ensuring the continuity of important organizations like WONCA Europe.

I arrived in Prague on a sunny afternoon ready for that feeling of uneasiness one experiences when landing in an international airport alone and with no pick-up previously arranged. I could not be more wrong. At the airport arrivals I met a few colleagues from Portugal and Norway I had met in previous WONCA Europe Conference and I felt instantly at home. WONCA is one big family.

The opening ceremony and the following days has been a complete wonder of languages, colors and customs. I felt like having the priceless privilege to enter the United Nations and more important to contribute to this such vital and inspiring organization.

...I personally discovered different WONCA working groups I did not know on topics I am very passionate about such as environment and family violence. It was very inspiring to see so many colleagues working together, exchanging ideas and trying to make a difference. I am anxious to collaborate with such working groups as I believe there is much I can learn from more experienced GPs. Moreover it is thrilling to be given a chance to speak up and contribute as, in my opinion, transgenerational collaboration is as rare as fruitful nowadays.

Mihai Sorin Iacob: Romania

. It is an incentive for the GP's from Romania to tighten ranks, and help promote our values that we still have in the country, and look forward with optimism that we can get to the front ranks of European countries and beyond.

… I joined to the EURACT and EGRPN and wanting to contribute to the growth and development of research and medical training in Romania.

Graziela Moreto: São Paulo, Brazil

The event was attended by 3600 participants from over 80 countries. It was an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences with colleagues from many different locations.

.... We insisted on sending posters and oral presentations on this theme in recent times. Fact makes us very happy is to realize that with the passage of time is increasing the space for this kind of discussion.

(photo: Graziela second from left and colleagues from Brazil in Prague.)

Tin Myo Han: Myanmar

… I was only one Myanmar representative who attended World WONCA Council meeting and 20th World WONCA Conference in Prague. 2013. I could make the trip to Prague because of the WONCA (Europe) Bursary.

I attended World WONCA Council meeting as representative of Myanmar GPs Society … I also participated in the meetings of WONCA Working Party for Women and Family Medicine (WWPWFM) as member and I was elected as secretary of WWPWFM (Asia-Pacific) Region. I attended the meeting of WONCA Working Party for Quality and safety as member of this working party and I was elected as its treasurer.

… I got more understanding on WONCA activities, leadership of WONCA leaders/Regional WONCA leaders and contributions of all member countries in general and particularly in coordination with World Health Organization(WHO) to provide better primary care services throughout of the world. WONCA agenda and agenda papers discussed in the council meeting were brought to Myanmar General Practitioners’ Society to implement it as member organization.

Pavlo Kolesnyk : Ukraine

...During the program I had a lot of chances to discuss … as well as ask for explanation of unfamiliar areas in family medicine development in different many countries of the world including New Zealand, Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom etc …

Practical outcomes - Because of this conference I’ve got some ideas how to improve the quality of primary healthcare.

- I am planning to train residents using the interactive ways of lecturing, using art during the seminars, small group activity etc.
- I have a plan to prepare some evidence-based lectures concerning the main health problems in the Ukrainian population.
- I am planning to implement group work and counseling into work of the family medicine clinic where I work now. I also plan to start the school for some patients, smokers, young mothers in groups and for sure knowledge and experience gained during the conference in Prague will definitely help me to achieve my goal.
- I am also going to spread the information I’ve got among my colleagues, residents and patients.
- Having a lot of information concerning the different ways of family doctor’s work in different countries I have an idea to write an article concerning the FM development in different countries in and to Comair it with the Ukrainian system and publish it in the Ukrainian journal of FM.

Anca Alexandra Matusz :Romania

The recipient of third Montegut scholarship for WONCA Europe.
... I am very grateful to the American Board of Family Medicine Foundation (ABFM-F) for the great opportunity to attend the WONCA World Conference held Prague, at the end of June 2013. It was one of WONCA most outstanding meetings for its welcoming, supportive character and for the opportunities it offered for finding collaborators, colleagues and friends.

…After returning in my home city of Timisoara, Romania, and based on the WONCA experience, I started the implementation of two research and collaboration projects in the specialty of family medicine. These projects will run for a period of one year, as a multicenter working groups with colleagues from the main cities in Romania, respectively – Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Craiova, Iaşi, Constanţa, as well-as from the rural area (Sadova - Dolj, Dobreţu – Olt).

Let me express again my acknowledgements for being selected as the third European Alain Montegut Global Scholar, for offering me this wonderful opportunity to extend and improve my research skills. Hopefully, the next report will reveal our experience with these two projects with substantial change in the well being of Romanian pediatric patients.