Proud! Proud of my profession, proud to be a GP trainee, proud to be one of the GP trainees who could attend both the VdGM preconference and the WONCA main conference!
In April 2005, the LOVAH, the Dutch National Association for GP trainees, founded a Taskforce European Affairs (www.lovah.nl/wes.htm). I was one of the founders. It dedicates itself to the exchange and integration of the various areas of general practice in Europe. This is mainly done by participation in international conferences and different kinds of exchange programmes. This year our employer made it possible to visit the congress with 48 Dutch GP trainees.
Sunday morning I woke up in one of the most beautiful cities of Europe, Florence. Where Lorenzo de Medici empowered the renaissance. Where Vesalius did the first anatomy. Where not the contemplation on the history of their profession, but their own observation and experiments were the key to knowledge. When I entered the Fortezza I met 40 new European colleagues. When I left 4 days later, I had 40 new friends.
We discussed the differences between the European countries, we tried to find solutions to the problems we all encounter, but the thing that impressed me the most was that we all want a good education and primary healthcare system, to be able to offer best possible care to our patients. I think we could be a role-model for politicians. Willing to listen to each other, not stuck to our ideas, able to see our blind spots, but above all working together to improve primary health care. One of the key messages I took home: ‘Think globally, act locally’.