Review of the 2017 Alternative Careers and Wellbeing Event (ACW 2017)

Posted by Gloria N Onwuneme on January 28, 2018

In looking back on 2017, my experience with being a Media Partnerships Officer for Medic Footprints has had the greatest positive impact on my confidence in my writing skills.

Towards the end of the year, I finally got to participate in the company’s main event: the ACW 2017 conference at Grand Connaught Rooms, hosted by Dr Abeyna Jones, Medic Footprints’ founder and CEO.

As a volunteer, I joined her team of doctors, nurses, students and professionals who felt that there was more to medicine than what a purely clinical role could offer.

 

A Wellbeing Start

The Friday and Saturday of the two-day event kicked off with meditation and morning yoga, to get people into the right mind-set, and to establish a clear red thread of wellness. For anyone who wanted more guidance, there were several career coaches ready to help clinicians develop a strategy to figuring out what was meaningful to them.

A delegate-free safe zone was set aside for anyone who needed a breather from all the options that opened up to them.

It became clear to me that these extra features played a huge role in the event as a whole. Adding these features came from a place of compassion that the Medic Footprints team has for anyone who might feel confused about their current roles, or who might become disoriented by the spread of careers options that the event presented them with.

And there were MANY options!

 

Specialist Skills Workshops

Day 1 had three main rooms in which sector representatives  covered the themes of Aesthetic Medicine, Management Consultancy, and Data science and Coding.

I joined the latter of these, and was rather swiftly inducted into the basics of coding! Not going to lie, some of it went right over my head, but the session was full of Eureka moments nonetheless. The day ended with a Startup Pitch Competitions, won by the founders of Medic Mind, an inspiring pair of medical students at Kings who, along with their team of mentors, helps student apply to and prepare for medical school.

 

Diversity in career opportunities

Day 2 events included a panel on Wellness in Medicine, chaired by Dr Caroline Walker; a session on portfolio careers; and a follow-up for anyone who’d got the coding bug the day before. The afternoon saw further sessions on healthtech, global medicine leadership, AI in medicine, changing healthcare and more.

I personally enjoyed the panel which included Dr Lewis Potter, the founder of Geeky Medics, and Dr Raphael Olaiya, a key figure in VR use in healthcare education.

I was also inspired by Dr Rozelle Kane, a neuroscientist and junior doctor who is now looking into the applications of nutrition medicine, and into how healthy food can reach people in a more accessible way.

I joined a breakout session on changing the face of medicine during which Dr Sarvi Eastell, surgeon and founder of Holding Your Hand, engaged in lively discussions about how the practice of medicine needs to change to support clinicians who want to stay in clinical practice without losing vital parts of themselves.

Towards the end of the day, Dr Shafi Ahmed shared exciting insights into how he was using social media and cutting-edge technology to deliver impactful surgical education on a worldwide scale.

The event came to a close with awards for doctors who had done an amazing job of widening their careers portfolios.

 

ACW Awards

The second annual ACW Awards welcomed several esteemed winners and finalists – all doctors who had demonstrated they had excelled in their extra curricular activities.

The Dr. Rose Polge Wellbeing Award, for people and organisations which support clinician wellness, went to Tea and Empathy. This particular celebration was an emotional one: members of Dr Rose Polge’s family were in attendance, and her close friend Dr. Iona Liddicoat commemorated her and spoke to the importance of the work that nominees of this award devote themselves to.

Throughout the event, I was really encouraged by conversations with, and teachings by, people who were fully realising themselves within and outside of pure clinical practice.

It was also great to see the dedication the Medic Footprints had to getting healthcare professional started on the journey to a bigger, fuller life.

I look forward to the next ACW event and to seeing greater numbers of people who believe that there’s more to medicine.

 

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