From the CEO's desk: 2019 Family Doctor Day and conferences

February, 2019

Greetings again from Bangkok. This month I want to highlight World Family Doctor Day, which will take place on 19th May, and also feature the start of the WONCA conference season.

World Family Doctor Day : May 19

In just about 10 weeks from the time this article is published, 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

Photo: last year's poster from Hong Kong

2019 FDD theme – “Family doctors – caring for you for the whole of your life”

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 providing life- long care to their patients – “from cradle to grave”. We especially want to emphasise that family doctors have a key role in the management of children and also their pivotal role in palliative and end of life care.

Of course WONCA has specialist groups which cover so many aspects of this lifelong care. Our Special Interest Group (SIG) on Ageing and Health launched the WONCA Statement on Ageing at the Seoul World Conference ( and WONCA Executive has recently endorsed the formation of a new SIG on Adolescent and Young Adult Health.

Photo: Qatar had their poster on a vehicle in 2018

As before, WONCA has also made generic FDD posters available via the WONCA website, and the FDD logo is also available
View and download all FDD posters
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 look forward very much to receiving reports of this year’s activities and will feature a number of these in future WONCA News editions.

Photo: Innovative ideas keep coming with new things every year. In Spain -the #LoveMFyC” meaning “Keep Calm and Love Family Medicine” campaign was run with great success and engagement
Send your activities to the WONCA Editor

WONCA Conferences

March 2019 sees the first event of the WONCA conference season – the WONCA Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) conference in Beirut from March 21-23. It’s not too late to register – – and we hope to meet many of you at this event.

Details of all WONCA conferences are on our website.
All WONCA conferences
Future conferences include:
- WONCA Iberoamericana-CIMF region, in Tijuana, Mexico (May 1-4)
- WONCA Asia Pacific region, in Kyoto, Japan (May 14-17)
- WONCA Africa region, in Kampala, Uganda (June 5-8)
- WONCA Europe region, in Bratislava, Slovak Republic (June 26-29)
- WONCA World Rural Health conference, in New Mexico, USA (October 11-15)
- WONCA South Asia region, in Lahore, Pakistan (November 22-24)

We look forward to seeing old friends, and meeting new ones, at one of these many events.

Dr Garth Manning