Event Reflections

Mar 2023 Update

PET Conference” (virtual)

I attended the annual PET conference “Making Fertility Treatment Fair” via Zoom on Wednesday, December 7th. I contacted by SSIP tutor who I researched Infertility with last year who very kindly managed to get me a free registration for the conference by speaking to the board of PET; the ticket was sponsored by the Institute of Medical Ethics. It was a well organised 9-5 conference encompassing 4 sessions on various areas of Infertility, which the Trust focuses on. Speakers from the Middle East, Europe and the US spoke a lot about the HFEA 1990 Act and how it is outdated now. Topics included concious and unconcious bias and racism within fertility services, the various levels of access to assisted repro tech in countries like Turkey, Belgium, Italy and Germany compared to the UK + how the laws need to change to acccomodate more diverse families, people with HIV and those in the LGBTQ+ community to be able to have families. It was incredibly interesting and a lot of short presentations to keep engagement. – Anika Prakasen, HYMS Ambassador

“Welsh O&G Conference” (Wales)

I attended the Welsh O&G society Autumn conference this year. This is a national O&G conference in Wales. I presented my recent project as a poster presentation and I am pleased to have won a £100 prize for my poster presentation. This conference was very interesting. There were inspiring talks from guest speakers as well as various interactive stands. There was a particularly interesting talk on transgender patients and ensuring these patients are given optimum care. For example the use of hormone replacement therapy and pregnancy in transmen. It was great to be able to meet other professionals in the field as well as showcase my work. I would thoroughly recommend this conference to any medical students in Wales and I have put the link to their upcoming Spring and Autumn conferences in the previous question. Perhaps this could be shared on the BUSOG website? I also attended the BUSOG/RCOG medical student day in September where I presented a poster. This was a very interesting conference with really useful talks. I found the talks about a career in O&G particularly helpful, it gave me a good insight into the career. I also enjoyed viewing work by other students and the questions and discussions held amongst other students was interesting. I found the first talk on ‘decolonising obstetrics and gynaecology’ particularly insightful and thought provoking. – Tamsin Mantel-Cooper, Cardiff University Ambassador

Feb 2023 Update

“Introduction to Psychosexual Medicine” (Bristol)

An Introduction to Psychosexual Medicine, organised by Bristol Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society. This was an informal discussion event with Dr Sally Soodeen, a specialist in Psychosexual Medicine working at the Unity Sexual Health Clinic in Bristol. Psychosexual Medicine sits at the intersection of medicine and psychotherapy, and involves a brief intervention of 4-6 sessions to unpack patients’ sexual problems, including painful sex, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation and vaginismus. This may include people returning to sexual activity after life events like childbirth and the menopause. The benefits of the job include the time you have to talk to patients and the satisfaction of getting to the root of their problems. As it’s a brief intervention, Sally described how you can’t always completely ‘fix’ someone’s sexual problems, but it may be the first time they’ve opened up about it, and they can begin on a journey of healing. – Eve Miller, Bristol Medical School Ambassador

“Abortion Teaching Seminar” (BUSOG)

I attended the BUSOG event focussing on abortion teaching in UK medical schools. There was discussion around the different levels of exposure that medical students have to abortion teaching and also the language that is used when addressing these topics. It was noted that a lot of students have so far only covered abortion in the context of health care ethics, and that clinical knowledge of abortion is lacking. This is definitely true in my own personal experience. This may be because I am yet to cover obs and gynae as a specialty, but even when studying my reproduction module where we covered contraception and pregnancy, abortion was not included. I think within the context of this module abortion teaching would have been very relevant so I am disappointed that it is not included in our early curriculum. The speakers also drew attention to the lack of experience medical students gain in having these discussions with patients which may make it a difficult area to approach in real practise because of lack of exposure to this area of healthcare during medical training. This event allowed me to acknowledge the gaps in my own knowledge surrounding this topic. I can now target this in my studying and also raise this in feedback sessions to the medical school to see if they can address the gaps in teaching. – Yasmin Wood, Aston Medical School Ambassador

Jan 2023 Update

“Beyond safe: providing quality abortion care” (RCOG)

In October, I attended the webinar “Beyond safe: providing quality abortion care” run by RCOG focusing on abortion. The speakers included Dr Ferid Abubeker, who spoke about the World Health Organisation’s guidelines on abortion care; Dame Professor Lesley Regan, who gave a talk on the vital role of RCOG in advocating for quality abortion care; and Dr John Muganda, who spoke about his experiences treating abortion patients in his home country of Rwanda. I particularly enjoyed Professor Regan’s talk, in which she focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of abortion care across the world. Whilst there had been a significant increase in unsafe abortion worldwide, access to abortions in countries such as the UK had improved with the introduction of telemedicine. All in all this was a extremely well-run and important event. I would highly recommend anyone attend similar webinars in the future. – Thomas Sebastian Fleetwood-Law, University of Liverpool Ambassador

“Female Genital Mutilation Awareness Event” (Dundee OGSoc)

I attended Dundee University’s Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society’s (OGSoc) Female Genital Mutilation Awareness event in November 2022. I am vice-president of OGSoc so it was a great experience to both organise and attend the event. We got in contact with Dundee International Women’s Centre (DIWC) to ask if they had anyone who would be willing to speak to us medics to raise awareness and improve education of FGM. DIWC are a wonderful organisation in Dundee who work to raise awareness of violence against women and FGM. We then had a speaker from DIWC come along to explain to us the types, signs and effects of FGM and some of the severe physical and psychological damage it has on women and girls across the globe. OGSoc hosts an FGM awareness event annually however this was the first year we had an in-person speaker to deliver the event. I think this helped us educate a wider population of the medical school as in-person events are significantly more interactive and interesting to attend. An interesting learning point from this event was the variety of terms that can be used to describe FGM, such as “cutting”, “halalays” and “gudniin”. It is important to be aware of different terminology so we can recognise signs of FGM and do our best to protect girls and women at risk of FGM in clinical practice. – Jenny Clark, University of Dundee Ambassador