Geriatric medicine - spreading the word abroad
The British Geriatrics Society is occasionally approached by doctors and Geriatricians from other countries wishing to benefit from the established skills of the United Kingdom.
An established 'outreach' programme which has long been supported by the BGS, is the BGS Medical Student Elective Grant, which encourages medical students to spend time in other countries, learning about their healthcare systems and contributing something from the UK's NHS.
Many hospitals and Trusts have established their own exchange or outreach programmes. These include delivering lectures, or more formalised programmes lasting up to one or two weeks, as well as collaborative projects including trainee exchanges.
I would like to explore the possibility of establishing an informal or formal special interest group for BGS members who might be interested in opportunities to collaborate with colleagues outside the United Kingdom, to pass on the skills and knowledge-base around geriatric medicine and to learn from other countries' experience. Such opportunities also present an excellent source for new research.
BGS members who have participated in various exchange programmes have enjoyed their outreach experiences. Often good friendships and /or future collaborations develop as a result.
On a personal level, I have really enjoyed teaching and collaborating in different countries including Taiwan, Lithuania, Denmark, Qatar and Egypt.
In this issue of the newsletter, we have articles from BGS members who have spent time in other countries, teaching, lecturing, researching or delivering services.
Professor Richard Walker describes his experiences in Africa. Many of you will have seen posters and papers on the research he has done as a result of his time there. Dr Duncan Forsyth reports on his time spent in Malaysia and other South East Asian and South Asian countries, while Professor Adam Gordon writes about his collaboration in Holland. We also have Dr David Attwood, one of our GP members. The pleasure that he took from his time in South Sudan is obvious. And finally, we have a report from Sophie Turton, a final year medical student who used the BGS Medical Student Elective Grant to gain experience in China.
We would like to hear from members who may be interested in these opportunities. If there is sufficient interest we will develop a list which will be held at the BGS so that outreach opportunities which arise can be communicated in a more structured way.