Return of the BGS Fringe

28 August 2018

Kiri West is a ST5 LTFT trainee in Mersey deanery and the LTFT trainee representative. She tweets @KiriWest2 and @BGSFringe

Opening up my conference pack for the November meeting of the BGS last year I was initially a little bemused. Part of the programme was presented as a cartoon. On closer inspection there were sessions on pimping zimmer frames, lego, crotchet snowflakes, twitter for geriatricians and book reviews to name but a few.   Not what I had expected when I’d registered for my first BGS conference.   And I suspect something that seasoned conference goers hadn’t expected either. This was something new. This was the programme for the first BGS Fringe. 
Borne from the question “could humanities help us resist the inhumanities of life in hospital?" the first fringe was an attempt to explore how the humanities can positively impact on the working lives of geriatricians, the MDT and our patients. I was intrigued from the minute I saw the programme and set out planning how I could make the most of this novel experience alongside the traditional educational content of the conference. Every time I went to the area of the hall set aside for the fringe the atmosphere was buzzing. There was standing room only at the twitter for geriatricians session. Pictures of elaborately decorated zimmer frames then flew around twitter. I overheard colleagues who were excited and inspired by the sessions. 
As geriatricians we are not afraid of doing something a little different – and the fringe was a wonderful reflection of what geriatricians and allied health professionals get up to on the side lines of their day-to-day jobs.
We should strive to find the little things that can have a positive impact on our patients and their environment whilst they’re in our care.  If that little thing comes from the world of humanities rather than science we are the specialty that should embrace that. And the BGS is embracing it. The fringe is back for 2018, with hopes of continuing to explore how we can use the humanities to support our patients, our teams and our own professional wellbeing. 
Do you read, write, draw, act, sing, code, build? Do you have a super-hero alter-ego…..?  
We’re still looking for submissions of all kinds to display, talk, project and play on the day. Share your passion with like-minded colleagues or just come along, explore and be open-minded. Email fringe [at] bgs [dot] org [dot] uk for more details. 


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