From the CEO's desk: Family Doctor Day and conference update

March, 2020

This month I want to highlight World Family Doctor Day, which will take place on 19th May, and also to provide an update on WONCA conferences and other events.

World Family Doctor Day – 19th May

In just a few weeks’ time from now, World Family Doctor Day will be upon us once more. World Family Doctor Day (FDD) – 19th May - was first declared by WONCA in 2010 and it has become a day to highlight the role and contribution of family doctors in health care systems around the world. The event has gained momentum globally each year and it is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the central role of our specialty in the delivery of personal, comprehensive and continuing health care for all of our patients. It’s also a chance to celebrate the progress being made in family medicine and the special contributions of family doctors all around the world.

"World Family Doctor Day: May 19" has become important as the day spreads around the world, and has been translated into a number of different languages, including Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese:
- Día Mundial del Médico de Familia: 19 de Mayo
- Dia Mundial do Médico de Família: 19 de Maio
- 519世界家庭醫師日

2020 FDD theme – “Family doctors on the front line”

We’re happy for Member Organizations to develop their own theme for FDD, depending on local priorities, but this year we’d especially like to highlight the role of family doctors in standing in the front line in terms of providing care to their patients. Hence the theme of “Family doctors on the front line”.

Several epidemics and disasters over the years – from Ebola and SARS to natural disasters like the Japanese tsunami and the Christchurch earthquake – have thrust family doctors into the front line of patient care. As our President wrote recently, family doctors so often are first in – first responders to the event – but last out, as they deal not just with the event itself but also the sequalae among patients and communities. We have established a web page on the WONCA website where members can find out more about how to deal with the COVID-19 virus and how to access useful resource material from WHO and others to help them to manage the cases and to protect themselves and others.

Yet again family doctors are in the front line, providing care and advice to patients, families and communities. We want to celebrate our colleagues globally by featuring and promoting their activities through World Family Doctor Day

As before, WONCA has also made generic FDD posters available via the WONCA website, and the FDD logo is also available.
FDD resources 
Last year many of our colleagues across the globe celebrated the day by organising a variety of events and activities, and we received reports and photographs from many countries, which we were able to feature in WONCA News. Karen Flegg, the WONCA Editor, has produced a template for countries and College and societies and associations, to aid reporting. We will feature a number of submitted reports in future WONCA News editions.
Submit FDD activity

WONCA Conferences and Events

We live in very strange times, and very sadly the global COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on many WONCA conferences and events. The update below is valid at the time of writing, but the situation is VERY fluid, so everyone is advised to consult the WONCA website for the most up to date information. As of the time of writing:

> The WONCA Rural Health Conference planned for Dhaka in mid-April has been CANCELLED. However the Working Party on Rural Practice still hopes to be able to run a virtual conference, and you can find more details of this here.

> The WONCA APR conference, planned for Auckland in late April, has had to be postponed. A revised New Zealand conference will take place, in Auckland, from 4th to 7th November. More information here.

> The WONCA Iberoamericana-CIMF Cumbre and conference planned for Puerto Rico in late April and into early May has also had to be postponed. Organizers hope to be able to re-schedule for later in the year, but please keep an eye on the WONCA website for up to date news.

> As at the time of writing WONCA Europe in Berlin, and WONCA World in Abu Dhabi, are still going ahead. If there are any changes then we will post details on the WONCA website and circulate via the regular e-updates. Abu Dhabi may well extend the deadline for abstract submissions so please check their website.

Dr Garth Manning