The Spice Route Movement report on Chennai 2014

Photo - Pre conference dinner

Reported by Dr Raman Kumar, Dr Sonia Mehra, Dr Pramendra Prasad, Dr Bhavna Matta, Dr Jigyasu Singh, Dr Kunal Doshi, Dr Md Zakiur Rahman

WONCA South Asia region conference 2014

Over 600 delegates attended the magnificent WONCA SAR 2014 conference at Hotel Green Park, Chennai, on August 16-17, 2014, jointly organized and hosted by Indian GP organizations, IMA CGP, AFPI and FFPAI. The theme of this conference was Hope, Healing and Healthy nation through Family Medicine.

The Spice Route pre-conference dinner

The conference was preceded by a pre-conference dinner on 15th August 2014 at Hotel Maurya International. The theme of the evening was to introduce The Spice Route movement for young and future South Asia family practitioners to the attendees. The presence of Dr Raman Kumar, Dr Sonia Chery and Dr Pramendra Prasad marked the evening. Dr Raman Kumar introduced The Spice Route movement following which he elaborated the aims and objectives of same. Dr Sonia Chery described the inception of this movement in 2010 and briefed about the developments so far. Dr Pramendra Prasad shared his experience at different International WONCA conferences.

This was followed by open discussion on Family Medicine education and training at different institutes all over India. There were attendees from New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Kerala and Chennai. The diversity of attendees facilitated healthy discussions regarding the current status and future strategies and also how we can contribute towards future development of “The Spice Route Movement” as future health professionals.

The Spice Route workshop

The Spice Route movement is a WONCA forum for young, new and establishing family medicine doctors in the South Asia Region. It includes medical students, residents, trainees and recently qualified Family Medicine doctors within first five years of practice. The workshop was chaired by world leaders of Family Medicine namely, Professor Michael Kidd, WONCA World President; Dr Garth Manning, CEO WONCA; Dr Pratap Narayan Prasad, President WONCA South Asia region; Dr Ramnik Parikh, honorary secretary WONCA South Asia region; and Dr Raman Kumar, young doctor representative on WONCA Executive.

The workshop commenced with a presentation by Dr Bhavna Matta who introduced the seven WONCA Young Doctor Movements.

This was followed by introduction of The Spice Route movement presented by Dr Kunal Doshi and Dr Jigyasu Singh collectively. Dr Sonia Mehra introduced to the audience “FM 360- Global Exchange Program”. This was the highlight of the workshop and attracted many residents and young family practitioners to participate in the event. Dr Pramendra Prasad very beautifully described regional exchange opportunities in Nepal. This was followed by Dr Md Zakiur Rahman’s invitation to “Spice Route Dhaka 2015”. Dr K M Abul Hasan spoke about the All India Convention of Young Doctors.

Following this was a group discussion and group presentations where groups were lead by Spice Route Representatives, namely Dr Sonia Mehra, Dr Bhavna Matta, Dr Jigyasu Singh and Dr Kunal Doshi.

Photo collage: The Spice Route workshop

The objectives of the Group activity were as follows:
- To involve the delegates in structure formation of “The Spice Route”
- To outline membership details
- To identify potential future leaders
- To understand their viewpoints and expectations from the movement
- To motivate them to actively participate in future Spice Route activities
- To bring them altogether on common platform to discuss challenges faced by them at different institutions

At the end of the group activity it was proposed that delegates could enrol with “The Spice Route” through their official representatives or WONCA member organization of their respective countries. In India, membership with Academy of Family Physicians of India (AFPI) automatically confers Spice Route membership to the eligible family physicians.

The interactive session allowed delegates to broaden their interest and knowledge in different aspects of Family Medicine training. Activities related to education and training, career development, research and publications, Image and social media etc were identified as key areas where team activities needed to be facilitated through formation of regional committees. This way most of the young physicians could get the opportunity to actively participate and contribute towards development of “The Spice Route”.

Consultations were conducted with key stake holders regarding future leadership, governance and structure of Spice Route. Dr Bhavna Matta was elected the new chairperson of the Spice Route Movement. Constitution of a formal Spice Route council is currently under process and it is proposed that each of the member countries from SAR will nominate three council members. Nominations from India (Dr Bhavna Matta, Dr Jigyasu Singh and Dr Kunal Doshi) and Bangladesh ( Dr Md Zakiur Rahman, Dr Md Nurul Islam Bhuiyan, Dr Md Abdul Quayum) is already complete.

We have deserving candidates but formal nomination from Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka is awaited. Bhutan shall be represented by only available member Dr Chhabi Lal Adhikari. We expect to complete this process soon. Development of constitution is underway.

We shall be meeting in Dhaka Feb 2015 for WONCA SAR conference to for the meeting of a formal Spice Route council, selection of coordinators of other regional committees and adoption of a formal constitution.

The Spice Route Movement has a new chair - Dr Bhavna Matta. Find out more about her here