A guide to Congress for students and trainees – by the Psychiatric Trainees’ Committee (PTC) Chair
04 May, 2022
I cannot describe how excited I am for Congress this year! Not only is it our first face-to-face Congress since 2019, but it is close to home and although I may be very biased… Edinburgh is amazing!
The International Congress has lots of opportunities for trainees. Let me tell you about my experience of Congress and all that it has taught me.
My first Congress was 2019 in ExCeL in London, it was my first year on the PTC and I really didn’t know anyone, but Congress truly is a fantastic opportunity to meet colleagues from all around the world.
Having somewhere to go at lunchtime so I wasn’t just standing about looking a bit lost was a must, so I spent my time in the student and trainees’ lounge. Everybody was incredibly friendly, and it helped make me feel involved and connected with other trainees.
Looking back, I made friendships that few days of Congress that have stood the test of time (and in the virtual world). I also got talked into organising the trainees’ conference, and it was the start of my journey in the PTC. So, that was my long-winded way of saying ‘come to the student & trainee lounge’; there usually is somebody there to talk to and we have daily lunchtime events.
You can come and meet your Psychiatric Trainees’ Committee reps on Monday, RCPsych Officers on Tuesday, our Chief Examiner on Wednesday and hear about the new curriculum and portfolio on Thursday.
If I had one regret about Congress 2019, it is that I didn’t manage to make the Trainees’ dinner on the Tuesday night. The Student and Trainee Dinner is highlighted in my diary for this year! Again, it is a fantastic opportunity to meet other trainees, make friends (and dare I say it ‘network’!), find out about training and psychiatry in different parts of the country (and world), all topped off with some good food. Tickets are now available!
Now that I have talked about the social aspect of Congress, I should maybe talk about the actual sessions. There are so many different options for talks and workshops at Congress that you are bound to find something that interests you. The PTC have developed a Trainees’ Guide to Congress, which has our pick of talks, workshops and social events.
So when I’m not in the Trainees’ Lounge, where will you find me? I’m pretty sure I will still be deciding what talks I am attending on the day, but there are a few things I definitely will not be missing.
The effect of cllmate change on people’s health and well-being cannot be underestimated and I am looking forward to ‘How should we respond to the climate crisis on Monday morning.
My Tuesday go-to is ‘Substance misuse treatment: looking beyond the clinic door’. This session focuses on the holistic care of people with addictions. As drug and alcohol-related death rates continue to rise, appropriate and patient-centred care for this patient population is imperative.
I love a list, and therefore Tuesday’s ‘Top 10 facts every psychiatrist should know’ definitely has my name all over it. I will probably be the first person in the audience.
I very much describe myself as a doctor specialising in Psychiatry, and I like to keep my physical health skills up. So ‘Medical Matters!’ will be my go-to session on Wednesday. VTE, diabetes, physical health in older adults and LFT interpretation; it’s a multi-systems overview of physical health and its integration with physical health.
As Chair of the PTC, my interest is education; therefore, what could be a better talk than ‘People participation in medical education: including people with lived experience in co-production and facilitation of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and training’. Co-production with patients is incredibly important and should be standard practice, although we aren’t quite there yet. However, including people with lived experience in teaching from an undergraduate level will lead to a future psychiatry workforce where co-production is the norm.
As I read through the available talks and workshops at Congress, I want it to be 20 June and go to everything. I hope to see many of you there and don’t forget to come and say hi!
For further information and suggestions please view our student and trainee guide.