New chance to connect with female leaders in general practice

Morgan Liotta

18/05/2021 5:17:51 PM

An upcoming RACGP conference will build on the theme of self-care and wellbeing for female GPs, with ample member engagement opportunities.

Female GP sitting in front of a computer.
The conference will be streamed online for those unable to attend.

With burnout more frequently recognised among GPs and GPs in training, wellbeing and self-care are reoccurring themes in the general practice space and could not be more relevant during the pandemic.
More recently, research has shown women’s health in particular has taken a hit.
As part of the RACGP’s advocacy and support for the wellbeing of members, the Victorian faculty’s Women in General Practice (WiGP) Committee’s annual educational conference Brainy women: A healthy mind and body will focus on self-care.
Hosted in Melbourne’s CBD from 5­–6 June, the event is open to all GPs, new Fellows and GPs in training, and is accredited for 40 CPD points.
The program includes practical and interactive sessions on women’s health, as well as doctors’ health and wellbeing, with opportunities to meet and network with other GPs.
Sessions will cover topics including how to best support doctors’ mental health through mindfulness, and brief psychological strategies.
Key female delegates across the two-day conference include RACGP Victoria Chair Dr Anita Muñoz, and women’s health specialist and Australian Federation of Medical Women President, Dr Magdalena Simonis, who will present the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management ­Framework (MARAM) and what it means for GPs.
The event will be introduced by RACGP President and WiGP Committee member, Dr Karen Price, while founding Chair of Our Watch and former Senator Natasha Stott Despoja will be the closing speaker. She will present on gender equity and violence against women, as well as discussing women in leadership and providing tips on how to be good lobbyists.
Dr Marina Malcolm, Chair of RACGP Victoria’s WiGP Committee and co-Deputy Chair of RACGP Victoria, is also a key delegate of the conference.
She told newsGP the conference aims to bring all GPs and GPs in training together to learn more about women’s health, and to provide opportunities for them to meet, support and network with each other.
‘Over the years GPs have developed great networks through our conferences, and learned about different opportunities and directions in general practice. These are the great things that can be gained at conferences outside of the sessions,’ Dr Malcolm said.
‘Our conferences aim to be very interactive, relevant and practical to the general practice consultation … featuring non-GP specialists, as well as many GPs with special interests, and that intimate knowledge and understanding of general practice.’
Being the first face-to-face conference RACGP Victoria has run post-COVID, this year will feature sessions on women’s health issues such as sexual function in mid-life and beyond, and preventing dementia in women.
‘We have also included sessions on topics that have dramatically increased in our female patients’ presentations through COVID, such as psychological care, eating disorders, family violence and what GPs need to know about the new information sharing schemes,’ Dr Malcolm said.
‘We also recognise the toll and burnout that GPs have experienced through COVID while supporting their patients and communities, so have included sessions on psychological self-care and mindfulness, and how to support ourselves, as well as care for other doctors as patients.’
In addition to supporting other members of the WiGP Committee with the opportunity to lead the conference, Dr Malcolm said another role of the committee is to mentor and support other GPs to take on those leadership opportunities and get involved in advocating for women’s health and for female GPs.
‘The WiGP Committee has been chaired over the years by female GPs such as Dr Karen Price, Dr Lara Roeske and Dr Magdalena Simonis, who have really contributed to general practice as female leaders,’ she said. ‘And they will all be there [to engage] with delegates.
‘We have all had a shared experience in working as GPs through COVID, and this is an opportunity to connect face to face and support and laugh and cry and learn at the same time.’
‘Brainy women: A healthy mind and body’ will be streamed online for those unable to attend. More information about the conference and registration details are available online.

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