Dear young and senior rural doctors,
The Scientific Committee welcome you to this 9th EURIPA Rural Health Forum which will take place on 2019 November 7-9, in the Hotel Marina Atlantico in the waterfront of Ponta Delgada on São Miguel Island, Azores.
The IX EURIPA Rural Health Forum will be hosted by the Portuguese Association of General Practice and Family Medicine in the Azores. The theme of our conference is “Isolation and Rural Medicine: Innovation solutions for developing local health services”.
A considerable proportion of the European population live in a rural setting. The profile of the rural physician has changed a lot during recent decades. Nowadays, rural GPs have become members of healthcare teams and take responsibility in their four core functions: healthcare education for the community, preventive medicine, community work and proper medical practice delivery. Practice based rural research networks linked electronically are already able to produce more creative and important health care research. Rural general practice/family medicine requires the ability of physicians to care for a highly-dispersed population with limited or remote access to specialist support and highly technical diagnostic services. This often involves caring for patients with complex and serious illnesses who, in large urban cities, would be managed by a team of secondary care specialists.
This requires the development and maintenance of additional knowledge and skills that are contextually quite different to that of most urban general practitioners/family physicians.
We think that the advent of new technologies such as fast internet connections, smartphones, Apps and social media may help in everyday practice and help to fight this feeling of isolation. Some of the potentially negative aspects of working in rural and mountainous areas such as the high workload, which sometimes worries the new generations, may, on the contrary, be stimulating and emotionally and professionally rewarding.
Either you are practicing in a rural area for just a short period of time or if you have taken this as a life-long commitment do add to the Scientific content of our forum.
Even if you are a full time practising physicians and not familiar with the methodology of research, your contribution is highly welcome. You will receive good help and feedback from the discussion of your presentation, so don’t be ashamed and do send your abstract.
See you in Azores,
José Augusto Simões
Chair of the 9th EURIPA Rural Health Forum Scientific Committee
EURIPA Scientific Board chair