Newsletter 06
Dear GP/FM colleagues,
We are delighted to invite you to the
24th WONCA Europe Conference that will be held in Bratislava, Slovakia on June 26 - 29, 2019.

Submit Your Abstract Today!

Submit your abstract today and be a part of this great Conference! Abstract Submission Deadline: Thursday, January 31, 2019
Choose any of the following topics for your abstract:
  • Global Issues
  • Discipline and Profession
  • Clinical Management
  • Infectious Diseases
Click here to view the full list of topics and sub-topics.

Submit now

Programme at a Glance

Programme at a glance is available.

View now

Easy Access to Bratislava

Getting around Bratislava is quite easy.
FLIGHTS TO BRATISLAVA
There are several airlines flying directly to Bratislava. You can use also the nearby Vienna International Airport at Schwechat in Austria.Vienna Schwechat Airport is only 50 km from the centre of Bratislava, highway ride from there takes up to 45 minutes.
BY TRAIN
It is easy to get to Bratislava by train from many countries.
BY BUS
Bratislava is very easily accessible by bus from many countries. Prague, Vienna and also Budapest are very well connected with this city.

Detailed information

5x5 questions for Host Organizing Committee

MUDr. Peter Lipovský
Chairperson VdGM Pre-Conference

One of the current problems of general medicine in Slovakia is insufficient interest in this specialty. How to make it attractive to students of medicine?

First, it is necessary to change our thinking about a general practitioner for adults. It is not a “punishment” to become a general practitioner for a certain area. General practitioners are the pillars of healthcare. They have now become even more important because patients’ work activities have changed and many illnesses are caused by a poor lifestyle and collapsing relationships at home and at work. In a community that no longer values or has real authorities, such as a teacher, priest or pharmacist, a general practitioner remains the only available authority. In the era of easy access to information about health on the Internet, we need to prepare for the role of consultants. It is similar to business. Everyone can read how to do business, but many people eventually call a consultant to help them choose a tailor-made solution. A doctor faces a similar challenge with each patient. Unfortunately, we have few high-quality doctors who are consultants and they are poorly paid compared to the business sector.

Is the system of teaching general medicine at medical schools adequate?

It is absolutely inadequate. In addition to clinical knowledge, future general practitioners need to develop communication skills and they also need adequate legal and economic education. General practitioners are indeed “generals” who manage healthcare in their communities. Therefore, they need strong management skills. There is no subject such as Medical Facility Management in the curriculum of medical schools. I believe that it should be a part of the basic training of every medical school graduate.

What knowledge and skills do students acquire about building relationships with patients and patient-centred approaches? (I mean the psychological aspect of education: doctors work with people and patients are not just numbers.)

In other sectors, especially economic ones, there is dual education focused on the direct link between a school and employment, or even a specific employer. The practical aspect is absolutely crucial in the study of medicine, too. Only actual work with patients can teach students how to deal with patients. However, the practical training is often formal; it needs to be more attractive and effective for both students and teachers. It is also about funding. Funds are highly scarce in this field.

You worked in Prague, then in Stockholm and now you work in a small village, Miloslavov. Where is work “easier” for a general practitioner in Slovakia? In a town or in the country? (We could note that the availability of healthcare has become a problem as doctors leave small villages.)

It does not happen in towns that a doctor treats the entire family. In Miloslavov, I work with generations. I can get the big picture because I see how family relationships work, so I can consider health, social or psychological aspects. It would be often enough to sort out relationships to reduce stress and, in turn, illnesses. A village is a more family-based environment. Patients often see me with children if there is nobody to take care of them. I do not mind, they could become my patients in a few years.

Patients often expect miracles from their doctors at the last minute. What is the role of a general practitioner in prevention?

My profile photo on a social network says: To all my patients – smokers, alcoholics, workaholics, obese and sedentary overeaters, those with ruined relationships, to all those who expect a miracle from me: I am your general practitioner, not a magician. I will help you because I took the Hippocratic Oath. But first, you have to change your life, because Hippocrates said: “If you cannot change your life, you cannot be helped.”

What does the human aspect of medicine mean to you?

You can have all the technology in the world, but it cannot substitute a nice word, smile or touch.

Bratislava Highlights - Volume 5

Michael’s Gate
The only preserved gate of the city fortification system dates back to the 14th century. The upper terrace of its 51-metre-high tower provides an enchanting view of the Bratislava Castle and the Old Town. The tower houses the Museum of Arms.
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Conference Secretariat

GUARANT International spol. s r.o.
Na Pankraci 17, 140 21 Prague 4, Czech Republic

Phone: +420 284 001 444
Fax: +420 284 001 448
E-mail: wonca2019@guarant.cz
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