Health of Health Professionals Conference – Brisbane, Australia (October 3-5, 2013)

Brisbane at night

I’ve been over in Australia the past couple weeks. First it was for the HOHP conference. This is the second one I’ve attended and I’ve enjoyed both of them. They happen every 2 years and rotate throughout the Australian states and New Zealand.

Ibis at Roma Parklands

I presented on “Re-humanizing Medicine: Supporting Whole Health in the Professional to Deliver Whole-Person Care.” My main point in this presentation was that the way we treat ourselves is linked to the way we treat patients, therefore to deliver whole-person care, the professional must develop themself as a whole person. This is a theme from my book (which will hopefully be out early 2014).

Bribane Botanical Gardens entrance

The conference draws an idealistic and committed group of health professionals who care equally for good clinical care as well as for creating sustainable and humane work environments for professionals. I spent some time in a couple of workshops with Hilton Koppe, an Australian GP, who uses creative writing and experiential learning in his teaching. His workshop, “Beyond the Clinical Record: Using Creative Writing as Burnout Prevention,” was a great buffet of different writing techniques and exercises that health professionals can use to process the stress of clinical work.

Brisbane Botanical Gardens

Overall, this is a really worthwhile conference for anyone interested in supporting health professionals own health so as to provide better patient care. The conference draws people from worldwide and is a nice size so that you can interact with presenters and get to know attendees of the conference, as well.

Roma Parkland Gardens

This was the first time I was in Brisbane in the state of Queensland, Australia. The city is on a river and has many nice gardens and restaurants and a very walkable Central Business District. The gardens even have plenty of lizards running about!

Lizard at Roma Parklands

After the Health of Health Professionals Conference

I had a great time at the conference and it was really energizing. I met many inspiring people from all over the world. There are a substantial number of people doing great work to support clinicians and to bring compassion back into healthcare, and they are doing it at the individual, research, and administrative levels.

Of note, Robin Youngson gave a great presentation.

Tony Fernando gave a presentation on positive psychology that had a lot of practical information about how to be more compassionate in clinical work.

Jane Lemaire, from University of Calgary presented a series of studies that her group have done on physician well-being, one of the most interesting was on the positive cognitive and relational effects of simply feeding doctors (something that often takes back seat in a busy clinical day).

Marsha Snyder gave a great presentation on the issues involved in working with patients who are doctors.

You can still see the conference programme on-line if you want get an idea of what the conference was about. I thought I understood that the conference organizers would be putting up some additional information following the conference, although that was up at the time I posted this.

View more presentations from the conference.

The next conference will be in 2013 in Queensland Australia.