Ana Nunes Barata reflects on two years’ YDM strengthening

For the past two years I have held the position as WONCA Young Doctors’ representative on WONCA World Executive, an opportunity that has proven to be a very inspiring, fulfilling and rewarding experience. Thanks to the possibility of enabling WONCA World Executive working closely with the seven Young Doctors’ Movements (YDMs), we managed to develop new projects and to strengthen the YDMs foundations for future activities in the organisation.

In addressing the desire to strengthen our collaborative work, one of our first tasks was to work on a common image that would represent global agreement. Thus we developed our YDM Global logo that is now used in all official, global YDM documents:

Next, the YDMs worked on the regulatory field by defining their activities on a global scale. For this purpose we have developed the YDM Operational Guidelines and we have also submitted proposals for changes to the WONCA Bylaws and Organizational policies in order to make our activities more structured within the organization. We also advocated towards a greater presence of young doctors on the executive boards of WONCA’s Member Organizations (MOs) and as such, we have advised this issue be included in a letter to all MOs.

To address economical inequities among regions, the YDMs have put forward a motion to create the YDM Global Fund. This initiative was approved by WONCA World Executive and is meant to be a means for YDMs to collect donations for YDMs projects.

We also wanted the Young Doctors’ activities to have a greater visibility in the global community. To this end, we accomplished the following tasks:

- The regional YDM pages on WONCA’s website were updated.
- An easily accessible “Join WONCA’s Young Doctors’ Movement” link was created on the WONCA World Webpage. The information submitted is then forwarded to the respective YDM and it is an important contribution to help us expanding our YDM network.
- We looked into possibilities of integrating more young doctors in WONCA’s Working Parties and Special Interest Groups by publishing an open call on Social Media. This call is proving very popular, having received over 170 applications.
- The YDMs started publishing the “YDM newsletter” which gathers the latest news from each region’s Young Doctors’ Movement showcasing the latest regional activities. This newsletter is published every 3-4 months in WONCA News.
- In 2017 and 2018, the YDMs produced joint materials to celebrate World Family Doctor Day that were published on Social Media. These publications are some of the most viewed posts on WONCA’s channels.
- Special attention was given to those global YDMs projects that are highly popular and scaling up their activity, such as the Family Medicine 360º exchange program. Over the past year, a platform was developed for this program and is currently being tested.
- We also looked into the possibility of promoting further global projects within the YDMs and together with other young doctors’ groups.

see this month's YDM newsletter
All YDMs have made great efforts to develop their regional network, both on regional and national levels, by engaging other young doctors to join their activities and thereby promote and strengthen their representation in the region.

These two years were also important in terms of strengthening the collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO has been increasing efforts to engage and involve youth in its activities. Following this idea, a Youth Forum was organized prior to the 4th Human Resources for Health Forum and WONCA was invited to collaborate in its organization. Here, I had the privilege to work together with other young healthcare professionals from different fields and to experience firsthand how a multi-professional team can boost each others’ knowledge and create action: at this conference we published the Youth Call for Action. This document paved the way for the future development of the Youth Hub in which WONCA continues to participate.

WONCA was again called to collaborate in the Global Conference on Primary Care, an event that WHO is organising, to be held on 25-26 October 2018 in Astana, Kazakhstan. This event will celebrate the 40 years of the Declaration of Alma-Ata, and will be a key event for the future of Primary Care – as young doctors we are going to participate in the event and are already actively involved in its planning.

All in all, I am very grateful to be able to collaborate with all my colleagues, friends, from all over the world. Believing in this global community and what it can achieve has proved to be incredibly inspiring and engaging. All that we accomplish by joining efforts is proof of how barriers can be overcome if we all strive together towards the same goal: strengthening Primary Care to offer the best, comprehensive universal health coverage.

Now all our efforts are focused in the next WONCA World conference in Seoul! Hoping to meet you again in the young doctors preconference!"

Ana Nunes Barata
YDM representative on WONCA Executive