YDM Newsletter: EYFDM (Feb - Sep 2023)

The past six months have been a busy time for EYFDM, centered around the 2023 WONCA Europe conference (with EYFDM pre-conference!), which took place in June in Brussels. A lot has happened beyond this event though, and this update gives a flavour of that.

Organisational developments within our movement

After taking on a new name last year, we adopted a new logo at the beginning of 2023 which reflects the values of energy, connection and opportunities that are so important to us and our members. We have also moved to a new website, and we have established ourselves as an independent legal entity registered in the Netherlands.

New personnel to take things forward

We held elections in Brussels for several positions on our executive this year. Kerry Greenan (UK) and Marta Kurdzielewicz (Poland) were re-elected as secretary and awards and fundraising officers respectively. Marika Svatošová (Czechia) replaced Nadia Toumi as treasurer, Carolina Cordovil (Portugal) replaced Christian Rechtenwald as image officer, and Yanica Vella (Malta) replaced Rocio Garcia-Gutierrez Gomez as exchange officer. Stuart Holmes (UK) took over formally from Nick Mamo as president in June and Nick remains on our executive for one more year to support the team as immediate past president. Raisa Álvarez Paniagua (Spain) has taken over from Rianne Van Vliet as FM 360 coordinator for EYFDM, doing this role jointly with Rabee Kazan (Spain) who remains in the role. Heartfelt thanks to all of these EYFDM members who have put so much effort into their roles over the past few years!

EYFDM pre-conference 2023

The young family doctors of Belgium did an exceptional job at organising our annual EYFDM pre-conference in June, which was so popular that tickets sold out! Many of our members are at a stage in their lives when we are starting families of our own, and this was our first pre-conference which was officially ‘family friendly,’ so new parents could bring their children and remain involved in the EYFDM community. At this pre-conference we also held two meetings of EYFDM council, one to transact our official business and a second meeting for team building to strengthen our movement.

The Belgian host organising committee for the EYFDM pre-conference 2023.

Impact on WONCA Europe

EYFDM made a large impact on the WONCA Europe conference 2023 - young doctors were approximately one third of total attendees and our presence was felt in the energy we brought to the conference but also in our contributions to the scientific programme. EYFDM was given a session in the main hall, which we used to share our reflections on some of the challenges facing family medicine in 2023 but also where we see hope for the future. This session was recorded and you can watch it here. EYFDM members also helped to establish links between WONCA Europe and the International Balint Foundation, and we also worked with the organising committee of Brussels 2023 to make the main conference family friendly, which was a great success!

Both the EYFDM pre-conference and WONCA Europe 2023 were ‘family friendly’ this year.

Contributions to WONCA World

We worked with young doctor colleagues from around the world to help produce WONCA’s video to celebrate World Family Doctor Day in May, and we are collaborating with WONCA World’s Emergency Medicine SIG to present an educational webinar for young doctors around in September.

Providing opportunities for our members

Providing opportunities to share learning across Europe is a key mission for EYFDM and over the past six months we have facilitated pre-conference exchanges in Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. There are more coming up later this year - sign up to our newsletter to stay informed!

We also collaborated with the organising committee of the WONCA Europe conference in Brussels to award 15 bursaries to enable EYFDM members from less privileged countries to attend and participate in the conference - particular mention must go to Marta Kurdzielewicz for her work on this project. We also ran a fundraising lottery in Brussels where we raised nearly 4,000 euros for our bursary fund for future conferences!

EYFDM also recently collaborated with EURACT, the WONCA Europe network for educators, to help them allocate free registrations for their 2023 conference for young family doctors with an a proven interest in medical education.

Recognising the achievements of our members

Lastly I want to note the exceptional members of EYFDM who received awards this year. Marta Ruivo (Portugal) received our biennial Fons Sips award in Brussels and will be put forward as our candidate for WONCA World’s ‘rising star’ award. Katrien Danhieux (Belgium) won our ‘Junior Researcher Award’ and we also gave awards in Brussels for the EYFDM members who demonstrated the most learning from an exchange they undertook within the last year.

Attendees at the EYFDM pre-conference 2023.