WONCA Sydney HOC Chair: May 2023

Time to be inspired!

This month’s WONCA Sydney World Conference newsletter is a spotlight on Professor Michael Kidd.

Professor Kidd will be giving a wonderful keynote at the WONCA Sydney World conference in October 2023. I want you to hear it. Because Professor Kidd and I went through something together in our roles as Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, and as President of the Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP). in Australia respectively. It was called Covid-19 a global pandemic.

I am sure you all went through a similar extraordinary time. His keynote will be inspiring us with recent research demonstrating the international contributions primary care made and the ongoing impact of that care in relation to the global pandemic. We all went through a great deal of hardship, upheaval, and loss, however what we learned was the strength of primary care. I quote Michael here:

“you cannot have a strong public health response without strong primary care teams.”

The contribution that family doctors and primary care teams made towards the protection of patients and their communities during Covid-19 pandemic was significant and continues to be made. The primary care workforce continues to go above and beyond during this time with patients and overstretched systems delaying care along with the continuing mental health impacts such a global disruption caused. The exposure of ongoing inequity was a very salient lesson for public health and should inform future responses.

Professor Kidd invites you to be inspired, as he was when he first went to a WONCA world conference in Jerusalem in 1989. He was encouraged to go by the late and great Australian GP, Professor Neil Carson. Professor Carson encouraged Michael to present his academic findings as a new academic GP.

Michael describes finding his passion for global health and describes the joy he had in finding like-minded family doctors at WONCA Jerusalem. It was here he was able to begin his lifetime interests in WONCA and in digital technology and strengthening medical education. WONCA changes lives. Professor Kidd describes WONCA as an extraordinary organization because it reminds all family doctors, that we are working together as a global family of family doctors.

I am really looking forward to his keynote plenary and encourage you not to miss the inspiration of our world’s recovery, our global reconnection and revival! We will truly celebrate primary care and maybe excite the next leaders of our profession to have such a global impact on health care and health care systems as the dynamic Professor Kidd. We can return to our clinics and our patients knowing we are part of something much bigger and greater than any of us individually can achieve. Equally understanding that every individual interaction we have as Family Doctors makes such an impact on people’s everyday lives.

Family medicine is truly an extraordinary career and Professor Kidd’s research will provide the empirical evidence of just why that is so.

I cannot wait to hear Professor Kidd’s presentation and share that joy and pride in the ongoing work of our professional colleagues with you.

See you all in Sydney in October

Or on Twitter: #WONCASydney2023

And here next month where I will showcase more exciting WONCA Sydney world conference news.

Adj. Professor Karen Price
Chair of the HOC WONCA Sydney
Immediate past president RACGP