MWIA Northern European Regional Conference, Rungstedgaard, Denmark
The 17th Northern European regional conference was hosted by Denmark, in the beautiful setting of Rungsted, halfway between Copenhagen and Helsingor, both easily accessible by train. Attendance of MWIA executive made this a truly multi-national meeting and MWF was represented by six members including Northern Regional Vice President, Helen Goodyear.
The main themes of the meeting were "women's health" and "violence against women", the latter in keeping with the triennial theme of MWIA. The speakers were all of a good standard and the topics presented often represented a different spin on common themes. For example, it was interesting to hear the role mentoring played helping foreign doctors integrate into the Danish system. Denmark appears to have a much more structured system for dealing with international graduates than the UK, an "advantage" of having a less commonly spoken language perhaps. Other presentations included a talk on setting up a drop-in clinic in Burma, the stresses involved in working in a warzone, and the different experiences of women and men undergoing medical education.
Clinical subjects discussed included a session on HIV and various gynaecological topics. President Elect Bettina Pfleiderer presented the results on the MWIA survey on domestic violence. This was accompanied by the results of an EU-wide survey into violence against women, both of which somewhat surprisingly flagged Scandinavia as having the highest reported incidence in Europe.
Socially the Conference dinner was held in Copenhagen, and full advantage was taken of the conference centre's proximity to the Karen Blixen Museum with a drinks reception and guided tour being held there.
Future MWIA meetings will be held in Vienna (2016) – the triennial meeting of MWIA, and the 18th Northern European Regional meeting will be in London (2017) to coincide with the centenary of MWF.
Dr Julie Rutter
MWIA National Co-ordinator, Consultant in Anasthetics, East Midlands