The small team of five “put their heart and soul” into the event, managing to bring together more than 300 local GPs, nurses, practice managers and primary care workers.
“The symposium came about from a multitude of different factors,” says KJ.
“We had people from other areas telling us how they think primary care should be delivered, but they were referencing services we don’t have locally. On the positive side, our primary care practitioners know our population incredibly well.
“The symposium gave us a really good forum to look at solutions to our problems, to showcase our local talent, and encourage innovative thought to address these challenges.”
The two-day weekend event took place on 8 – 9 September, and focused on inter-professional collaboration and the primary care team.
The programme included both practical sessions for GPs (such as suturing workshops and tips on pain-free joint injections), as well as programme items for the wider primary care team (such as tips on helping unwell patients in the waiting room or reception area).
The event also built on relationships with the local psychology and radiology departments, sharing updates and ideas for improvements between primary and secondary care teams.
Symposium attendees were clearly passionate about improving the quality of care in their region, and advocated on behalf of their patients to call for better local services.
This is the part of general practice that KJ says he enjoys most: the relationships with his patients and colleagues.
“Having been here long enough now, I’ve seen young children turn into teens. I’ve seen teens go off to university, I’ve seen university students come back and become parents. I’ve seen fantastic workers retire, and I’ve escorted people in their final phases of their life into their death.
“All of those situations are really privileged positions, and enormously rewarding to be a part of.”
For KJ, it’s clear why general practice is a great option for anyone considering a career in medicine.
“If you want long-term and rewarding contact with your patients, this is the profession to be in.”
“If you want to have a team approach, and work with people that you can grow, develop and care for, then this is the profession to be in.”