Five medical students from the University of Southampton received bursaries from the Wessex Faculty Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to attend the RCGP conference.

This was a joint venture with the University and over the coming weeks, Medically Speaking will host a blog from each student about their experience.

The first is written by Shivanjali Gupta, who is currently in the final year of the BM5 course.

“Having never attended a conference before, I found the two-day Annual RCGP Conference a remarkable learning curve. The range of events, speakers and workshops to attend was phenomenal and to attend them with other medical students who shared the same passion to learn, made the experience even more enjoyable. 

“I’m really grateful for the GPsoc at the University of Southampton to arrange this opportunity. As an aspiring GP, this experience has helped me shape my carrier path and help me gain clarity about my future.

The conference began with Dr Martin discussing the challenges GPs faced during the pandemic and including pictures of GPs who lost their lives due to COVID-19. This was a sombre but moving and poignant moment.  

Professor Sir Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer, joined the presentation and said his motivation to travel to the conference was to just thank GPs for their contributions, especially during the pandemic. He reflected on the notion that GPs are the most trusted health professionals, which was very inspiring.  

There was a lot to reflect on from the various talks and presentations, but one that sticks with me the most, is how important continuity of care is. We were privileged to hear from a patient who spoke about his own experiences, which put things into perspective.

Other fascinating talks including on about Long Covid, how we can support those patients and ensure they are not experiencing any other conditions; and one about care of the LGBTQ community in primary care. As a final year medical student, this important information will help me make a more atmosphere for the community to be able to discuss their health.

Attending this conference made me realise how complex and ever-changing medicine is. It gave an insight into the future of medicine and what we can do to improve patient care. It is clear that what was practiced decades ago, is different from what we practice today, which in turn will be different in the future.

A student’s view of the Royal College of General Practitioners conference

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