Family doctors on the frontline

19 May 2020

Today (May 19) GPs around the world mark their own special day. RCGP is a member of the World Organization of Family Doctors (Wonca). I was President of Wonca from 2016 to 2018.

This year's theme – not surprisingly – is Family Doctors in the Front Line and the 150 countries round the world where Wonca has members will be sending stories of their experiences as the COVID-19 crisis continues to alter how we work as GPs. The Wonca website will be sharing these stories and experiences.

Sharing RCGP experiences

The RCGP is sharing our experience - and expertise. Many countries with health systems less robust than ours, and perhaps less well resourced, can draw on our CPD resources to help them do the right things as they face the same challenges as our members do.

Some have asked for additional adviceor example, I did a Zoom webinar for colleagues in Uzbekistan, which was hosted by ministry and university leads and apparently had around 200 attendees on the call!

But RCGP also gains wisdom from others in Wonca; for example, their Research Working Party has been gathering case studies and data from different countries, and their direct links with the World Health Organization, all help us to stay informed and to increase our understanding.

The International department here is building up further collaborations, which both feed into and will extend our global links. This is very important for our own members, some of whom work abroad, have family and friends in other countries, and have taken up international opportunities which have enriched their own careers as GPs.

Our work with Wonca also ultimately helps the world to see the value of general practice, and to support its development as a key part of an integrated cost-effective and high quality health service. So on this day, let's celebrate our efforts - not only in the UK but worldwide!

All best wishes for World Family Doctor Day 2020.

Post written by

Professor Amanda Howe, President of the RCGP

Professor Amanda Howe is President of RCGP and qualified as MRCGP in 1983. She has worked as a GP since 1984, and currently practices at Bowthorpe Surgery in Norwich. She is also Professor of Primary Care at the University of East Anglia. Howe has a wealth of experience in the RCGP, where she has previously held the positions of Vice Chair of Professional Development and Honorary Secretary. She is a board member of the East Anglia Faculty and was their Provost 2016-2019. She is also the immediate past President of the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) in which role she promoted the crucial role of GPs in running effective and efficient health systems.

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