The RCPCH Annual Conference ‘Healthy Child, Healthy Future’ 2017: 3 days of Education, Inspiration and Celebration
Sunny Birmingham was the venue for the 2017 RCPCH Conference. The LSP was (as usual) very well represented by delegates and workshop hosts/speakers alike. Well done to our very own Andrew Long (VP E&T) & the RCPCH team for organising the event. The conclusion from London medical students, trainees and consultants alike was that following the conference they had returned feeling educated & inspired. Here are just a few thoughts captured by two of our fantastic trainees:
EDUCATION: The conference gave insight on how we can improve and continually develop our paediatric and child health services both locally (for some useful links visit http://www.rcpch.ac.uk/improving-child-health/quality-improvement-and-clinical-audit/quality-improvement-and-clinical-audit) and globally. The trainees’ session highlighted the importance of sleep hygiene and maintaining resilience (visit http://ep.bmj.com/content/102/3/127) and of course, the rhythmical Goldilocks poem, which will no doubt help us all with our fluid resuscitation! (thank you to Dr Patrick Davies at Nottingham University Hospital for permission to share his slides).
INSPIRATION: Where to start, listening to all these prestigious speakers from different backgrounds was mind-blowing! From Professor Molyneux’s uplifting talk, ‘More with less’, surrounding the old African Philosophy, Ubuntu (‘I am what I am because of who we all are’) or “Think before you do an investigation…” For those interested in Global Health check out Global links as this is an established program which can offer you support whilst you’re out of the UK and there is a strong network of paediatricians who have been through this process who can offer your guidance at any stage (for all things Global Health: http://www.rcpch.ac.uk/global/about/about-rcpch-global ).
CELEBRATION: The world of paediatrics is small, we are a global team and the conference reminds us of the great work we all do on a day to day basis, and it gives us an opportunity to celebrate and party! Over the 3 days there were many examples of how paediatricians love to dine, dance and drink. Us trainees use every opportunity to learn from the consultants including their epic dance moves, and of course taking obligatory selfies on the dance floor. Lastly we can’t forget the incredible after party at the famous Birmingham Popworld, where medical students to consultants alike danced the night away and showed the love we all share for RCPCH and our incredible careers/future careers in Paediatrics.
AND FINALLY, SOME WISE WORDS FROM A YOUNG TRAINEE HEAD: It’s a long path to being a consultant and there’s no rush to get through training. Take time to explore interests within paediatrics, both old and new and use the opportunities that arise throughout your training. Don’t be scared to press pause on the treadmill if you want to explore other avenues.
Enjoy time with your colleagues both at work and outside of work, they share a common interest and common goals and are a crucial source of support on your training path. Share your concerns, acknowledge when you’re finding it tough and talk about things that you aren’t happy with. By sharing both good and bad experiences at work, we help ourselves to learn and generate an honest and open environment in which professionals can more easily support one another. In addition, regular, constructive and honest feedback positively reinforces this working environment.
You don’t have to be a senior trainee to propose a project idea, if you see something you want to change or feel could be done better then take the lead, it’s everyone’s responsibility. Projects grow and evolve – speak to people who may share your interest and can help you to develop your ideas. The RCPCH Conference is a chance to be inspired, remember the reasons you chose paediatrics and to meet fellow paediatricians at all stages in their careers. It helps you to think outside the box and you garner new strategies and ideas that you can carry through into your own practice.
Dr Lily Martin, ST2 Paediatrics, King’s College Hospital
Dr Nisha Patel, ST1 Paediatrics, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich