World Rural Health Conference
The University of St Andrews and the University of Dundee provide travel bursaries for ScotGEM students attending World Rural Health Conference
The University of St Andrews and the University of Dundee have provided travel bursaries for ScotGEM students who will be presenting their works at the WONCA World Rural Health Conference 2022. A premier global conference for rural health, this year’s event was held from June 17 to 20 in Limerick, Ireland, and explored how communities are empowered to improve their health and that of those around them. The conference was co-hosted by the University of Limerick School of Medicine, the Irish College of General Practitioners and Rural, Island and Dispensing Doctors of Ireland.
ScotGEM is a rural-focused graduate medical programme facilitated by NHS Fife, Tayside, Dumfries, Galloway and Highland, and run jointly by the University of St Andrews and the University of Dundee. Both host universities had been working hard over the last couple of years to create an opportunity for students who have had their abstracts accepted to attend in person, particularly as it coincided with the first graduation of MBChB students from the Univesity of St Andrews in 50 years. This is according to Dr Robert Scully, an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of St Andrews’ School of Medicine and Deputy Director, ScotGEM. Dr Scully was also on the organizing committee of the conference. “This conference will provide the students a unique opportunity to deliver their work, network with global leaders and experts in rural healthcare, be exposed to cutting-edge research in this area and hopefully lead to future collaborations and best practices being adopted in Scotland.” Dr Scully said. “I am especially delighted because if we say the students are going to be the future of rural health, we need to involve them in all of these initiatives and oftentimes in the past that hasn’t occurred”, he added. He also described the conference as a major milestone in ScotGEM’s future which heralds the programme’s role in international healthcare delivery.
The conference brought together people from all continents of the world and the University of St Andrews global fellow, Professor Roger Strasser from New Zealand delivered a keynote.
Lewis Astin, one of the ScotGEM students presenting at the conference expressed his delight at the opportunity to present his work in this his first in-person conference presentation, with the bonus of it being an international conference. “Dr Scully was quite keen for ScotGEM students to submit their work and it was really useful to have the bursary. The school has helped with many of the travel and accommodation logistics, and I will recommend that students apply in future.”
Although the first day of the conference coincided with the ScotGEM graduation, Dr Scully explained that there would be no scheduling conflicts for students posed to attend both events. “We were able to negotiate with the scientific sub-committee such that any of the attendees who have had abstracts accepted from Scotland won’t be presenting until Sunday”, he explained, adding that the committee has been very accommodating of the ScotGEM graduation, recognizing its significance.