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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Building links with European and International colleagues

On Friday 30 April, 20 medical students from the Netherlands visited the College. This came about through my long-standing research partnership with a Professor at the Free University of Amsterdam. He has formed a group, Little Hans, to encourage 3rd and 4th year medical students into Child Psychiatry. This initiative has been very successful, and all the students have the chance to start research early and produce robust research papers with clinical utility.

I am hopeful that through Dr Alice Lomax, as chair of the Psychiatric Trainees' Committee (PTC), and through the PTC medical student representative, that we can foster links with the young doctors of the future in the Netherlands.

Nick Hindley came to speak to them about how to develop innovative adolescent forensic services and I shared my thoughts on young violent offenders, society and social capital. We had a lively debate and they enjoyed being shown around the College building.

I have a real wish for more members to come and visit the College HQ to see how it works from day-to-day. It is your College! So if anyone is joining a Committee, please ask the chair to show you around and if I am in, do drop in to see me.

I finished the week with a meeting of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) with other UK representatives from across medicine. In the midst of our day-to-day pressures, it is sometimes difficult to think about Europe and medicine. But the challenges and opportunities are the same, both across medicine and other European countries. It is a real opportunity to work together and to strengthen our voice.

I will soon be attending the joint meeting of International Colleges and Academies in South Africa where I will be talking about the work of the College and our examinations. I am also using this as an opportunity meet up with psychiatrists and public health doctors working on public mental health so that we can share practical ideas which will help in our future work in the UK.

But before I can fly out though, I have to catch up with the latest moves my grandson has learned at Ninjas.


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