Dear GP/FM colleagues,
Do not miss the 25th WONCA Europe Conference that will be held in Berlin, Germany on June 24 - 27, 2020.

Submit Your Abstract Today!

Submit your abstract today and be a part of this great Conference!
Abstract Submission Deadline: Friday, January 31, 2020.

Choose any of the following topics for your abstract:
  1. Managing primary care
  2. Special groups of patients
  3. General aspects
  4. Practice training
  5. Future settings for primary care
Click here to view the full list of topics and sub-topics.


Meet WONCA Europe 2020 Keynote Speakers
Interview with Raquel Gomez Bravo

1. You name family violence as a „hidden epidemic“ - could you please explain why?

Numerous public health experts around the world are calling family violence the “hidden epidemic”. The rates of all of its forms are underestimated globally and those reported represent only a very small part of the problem compared to the real prevalence. The visual metaphor that is often used to illustrate this situation is an iceberg, where most of the cases are submerged, allegedly invisible to society
Family violence, also named domestic violence, domestic abuse, or battering, includes intimate partner violence, child abuse or neglect, and elder abuse, among others. Global estimates published by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that, worldwide, almost one third (30%) of the women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime.
Although it is considered a global public health problem of epidemic proportions with serious consequences, until very recently, family violence has been widely ignored and very little understood — in stark contrast to any other major public health problem.

2. Which role do family physicians play in the detection and therapy of victims of family violence?

Health care professionals are key to identifying and responding appropriately — especially family doctors: they can be the first or only point of contact for victims who are often hesitant or unable to seek other sources of assistance.
Statistics show that abused women use health care services more than those who haven’t experienced abuse and they also identify health care providers as those whom they would most trust with revealing abuse. Yet, they tend not to report abuse to doctors if not specifically asked. Health care professionals are in the unique position to offer a safe and confidential environment not only to facilitate disclosure of violence, but also to provide appropriate support and referral to other resources and services.

3. You are currently developing a PhD project focusing on family violence and medical education. What is the connection between these two topics?

Most of the practicing physicians have received either no or insufficient education or training on any aspect of family violence. Research demonstrates that training of medical students on this topic is often delivered in an inconsistent or ad hoc manner. Notably, many health care professionals report feeling inadequately trained to care for victims of abuse.
A comprehensive health care response is key to a coordinated approach to family violence. In order to enable them to have a role and responsibility, it is necessary to sensitise health professionals towards family violence and provide them with the necessary tools and information to respond appropriately and effectively. Specific training is likely to improve clinical practice in such cases.
Moreover, the WHO and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have published guidelines for health services responding to intimate partner violence, emphasising the urgent need to improve the education of frontline health care professionals.

4. You have been a very active member of Vasco da Gama Movement (VdGM). Why should young doctors join the movement?

VdGM is a fantastic world of opportunities, a network full of inspiration, innovation, creativity, energy and dreams, where ideas find a way to become real.
Speaking about my own experience, like the vision of the movement, I felt empowered, supported, heard and connected with people worldwide. I had the opportunity to develop the most amazing projects and be involved in so many others, discovering how powerful Primary Care is around the globe. No matter how different or distant we are, we share the same values and worries worldwide.
I can highly recommend any junior or trainee general practitioner joining them! They can explore the options by themselves, get involved, learn from peers, ask for mentorship and advice, join exchanges or networks, and develop their own interests to provide the best care possible.
VdGM is about dreaming — and who doesn’t like to make dreams come true?!

5. Which expectations do you have for the WONCA Conference in Berlin?

I hope to learn and discuss with other health care professionals and patients about different topics and concerns, keeping a critical and open-minded perspective. And I wish all the attendees come with the same spirit — also regarding Family Violence. We have the duty to improve our practice and this always implies threats and opportunities. Yet, we need to be aware of the needs of our population and embrace the challenges that stem from introducing new aspects in clinical practice. Like Goethe said: “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

Programme at a Glance

Programme at a glance is available on the Conference website.



We would like to thank to those of you who have already registered for the early registrarion fee! For those who have not yet registered, there is still opportunity to register for a discounted regular registration fee.


Berlin - Volume 7

Extending all the way from the ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on Breitscheidplatz to Berlin's elegant Halensee neighbourhood, the affectionately termed Kurfürstendamm is the most expensive address in the capital city and home to the most exclusive brands. Europe's biggest department store KaDeWe is also situated on the extension of the Ku'damm, on the street known to locals as the Tauentzien (short for Tauentzienstrasse). The little ones will just love the Zoo Berlin, Germany's oldest zoo.

Let Your Colleagues Know

Please send this page to any colleagues and friends who you think will be interested in attending the Conference.

Conference Secretariat
GUARANT International spol. s r.o.

Na Pankraci 17, 140 21 Prague 4, Czech Republic

Phone: +420 284 001 444
Fax: +420 284 001 448