Featured Doctor

CASADO, A/Prof Verónica

WONCA Europe 5-Star doctor

A/Prof Verónica Casado, from Spain, is the 2017 WONCA Europe 5-Star doctor award winner.

What work do you do now?

I am a family doctor, I work at a university healthcare centre, and since 1988 I have been an associate professor of Health Sciences, responsible for leading the Family and Community Medicine Teaching Unit with 21 teachers, at the University of Valladolid in Spain.

My healthcare center is located in a neighborhood of 30,000 inhabitants of average socio-economic level. I work with 14 Family Physicians, four pediatricians, 18 nurses, a social worker, two midwives and three support teams: mental health, oral and physiotherapy. I look after the health of 1,600 people and conduct 30-35 consultations per day. I deal with their acute and chronic health problems, and this includes preventive activities, palliative care, ultrasound, minor surgery. As well, I lead and coordinate the teaching activity of the healthcare center with students and residents of Family and Community Medicine.

Did winning the 2017 WONCA Europe 5 Star award make any difference in your community / province / country?

Among the awards that I have received throughout my life: the WONCA Europe 5-Star doctor award has had the greatest of the impacts I’ve ever felt at the Spanish national level, and in my community. I have been interviewed on national and regional television and radio. I’ve recorded a 45-minute program that is broadcast periodically at the regional level. The magazine ‘Mujeres del Mundo’ has placed me among the 500 most important Spanish women and among the 27 women scientists / doctors of the 21st century. The newspaper ‘El Norte de Castilla’ has considered me one of the most important people of 2017, the Federation of Neighborhood Associations and Consumers in Valladolid has given me its "Conde Ansúrez de Bronce" award for “a recognized trajectory and wide national and international prestige". The radio chain COPE has opened a section called "Your health... with Verónica Casado" that airs every Monday.

So the WONCA Europe 5-Star Doctor award has changed my life, yes.

This award has therefore been very important, not only for me but for the Family Doctors of this country. It has had an incredible impact on the media that probably has done more than any campaign in recent years to show the quality of Spanish Family Medicine. It has also allowed us to know what WONCA is and what it means to many Spanish doctors.

What other interesting things have you done?

I have chosen four fundamental paths in my professional life: management, teaching, research and dissemination of knowledge. I was responsible for the Healthcare of an area with 250,000 inhabitants from 1990 to 1994. During this period, I was directing a team of more than 700 people. And we launched 16 health centers.

Then, I became a General Deputy Director of Health Planning of the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs. When I returned to clinical work, in 1997, I focused on clinical duties and also on training. I was a member of the National Commission of the Specialty of Family and Community Medicine for 15 years, teaching more than 15,000 residents in 97 teaching units.

I feel most proud of two projects: the specialty program of Family and Community Medicine, which is the first specialized training program based on competences with innovative training and evaluation methodologies and secondly, the core project. The core project aims for Family and Community Medicine to be an initial training environment for all medical specialties, with all residents of all different specialties having to acquire skills in dealing with problems in primary care.

As for university education, I have been in "the fight" for 27 years in order to help Family and Community Medicine to take its rightful place in that training.

I have been actively involved in the Spanish Society for Family medicine (semFYC) since I was in the second year of residency and I was one of the founders and president for six years of the Castilian and Leonese Society of Family and Community Medicine, (a regional part of semFYC). I am interested in the WONCA Working Party on Education activities and have presented at WONCA conferences, notably in three WONCA Iberoamericana- CIMF summits (Seville, Spain; San José, Costa Rica; and Quito, Ecuador).

At the research level, I have published 163 articles, 53 of them have been published in high impact journals, and have directed several doctoral theses, dissertations, final degree projects and master's degree projects. And I am a member of the Board of Directors and of the scientific committees of seven journals of Primary Care / Family Medicine.

Could you tell us more about your hobbies and interests?

My "passion" has been, is and will be to turn Family Medicine into the central core of the healthcare system and therefore the central element of the core university and specialised training. My hobbies are reading, hiking, photography, film, I also have an active presence in social networks. I am still lucky to have my mother, I am married and I have a daughter and, above all, what I love is to be with my family.

Verónica can be found on twitter  @DoctoraVCasado  https://twitter.com/DoctoraVCasado