The 3rd EURACT scientific conference on education in family medicine was held on October 5 - 7, 2023 in Bled, Slovenia.  This significant event, postponed in 2020 and 2022 due to the pandemic, was organized by the European Academy of Teachers in General Practice/Family Medicine (EURACT), in collaboration with the Slovenian Association of Family Doctors (ZZDM) and the Institute for the Development of Family Medicine (ZRDM).

The primary objective of the conference was to enhance education and foster the advancement of family medicine throughout Europe. Our core mission revolved around ensuring the highest quality of training and expertise for family doctors while facilitating the exchange of knowledge among various nations.

The theme of this conference was "Surfing the waves of change in GP/GM education". More than 180 family medicine teachers from all over Europe took part in this event. Over the past five years, the European Education Conference has emerged as a pivotal event in the field. The attendees shared their valuable experiences, the latest research findings, and innovations in the field. The conference featured a rich program of lectures, interactive workshops, and engaging discussions, providing participants with the opportunity to enhance their professional competencies.

The two-day scientific program, which was preceded by an evening, informal social meeting of all conference participants, was full of numerous interesting plenary lectures, workshops, oral and poster presentations. The conference began with a moving presentation by the representative of Ukraine in EURACT - Dr. Pavlo Kolesnyk entitled “Strengthening Resilience in the Ups and Downs of the Ways of Life during the war in Ukraine”. Prof. Dr. Igor Švab, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, but also former WONCA Europe President and Slovenian EURACT representative gave the lecture titled “What is really important to teach future family doctors?”. Dr Marco Antonio de Carvalho was taking about hidden curriculum in medicine, which demonizes the role of emotions in medical education and Dr Roar Maagaard from Denmark presented Janko Kersnik Memorial Lecture titled “The patients are our raison d’être - not to be forgotten in medical education.”. Finally two young graduates from Maastricht University Sjim Romme and Matthijs Bosveld presented a keynote: “Patient participation in life-long learning as a two-way street.”. All the keynote presentations were available to watch live on YouTube and recordings are still available through the conference website. During 20 workshops, conference participants could get acquainted with and practically try out new educational techniques, and during nearly forty oral and a similar number of poster presentations, they could get acquainted with the results of scientific research and innovations implemented in the field of education medical. During the final session, a round table debate was held to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of education during specialized hospital internships. Recording from this part is also available on the website. At the end, prizes were awarded for the best poster and the best oral presentation, which were also passes to free participation in the next conference, which was announced for spring 2026. Preparations for it have already started.

Published on 23 October 2023.

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