It was an honour to hear from all the panellists. I really appreciated the inclusion of student
voices and learning from the insights of the experts on each panel. Hearing Dame Jane Dacre
talk of data collection for a review on structural inequalities across healthcare during the gender
disparities panel was particularly inspirational.
The attendees chat was a dynamic platform, with posts on resource sharing, e-learning,
FOAMed and the sharing of a petition during the diversity in healthcare session on which,
seeing the enthusiasm, and hearing the viewpoints the panelists presented, I forwarded on my
own Twitter page.
I spent the breaks viewing the video abstracts presented and dropping notes of appreciation to
respective project presenters via the message panel provided, from having learnt from their
projects and work.
Each session widened horizons further than the foundation built on the previous one, ending on
a terrific prioritizing patient safety discussion panel.
I came to realize that in the future, maintaining current high standards of patient safety and
telehealth may be ventures where a post-pandemic world could steer healthcare. Presently, I
came to understand that digital conferences, and the ICGRx platform, might have possibly
brought forward a platform of medical education into 2020.
I'm an intern at St Johns medical college, Bangalore and as such this was the first time I was introduced to the ICGRx conferences through social media. Fearful times have befallen us and this brings about opportunities for new situations. With the ICGRx conferences being held virtually, this gave an opportunity to thousands of medical professionals all over the globe to have access to it. The sessions on Covid or otherwise were not just academically purposeful but also gave us a platform to engage with other professionals facing similar situations giving us a sense of camaraderie and fellowship. Out of all the sessions i was able to attend the one which resounded with me the most was Gender disparities in Medicine by Prof Dame Jane Dacre (UK), Dr Vineet Arora (USA), Dr Fernanda Staniscuaski (Brazil) and Dr Jennifer Downs (USA).
These outstanding women came from different parts of the world with different hospital situations yet they echoed the sentiments of women doctors all over the world. Women have been in the field of practicing healthcare for centuries together bu they were largely relegated to playing the second fiddle till the late nineteenth century. It was only after this that women doctors or primary physicians became widely practiced. Yet, even after most of the medical workforce all over the world having female representation, women doctors are still viewed with less trust, more likely to err, less likely to respected by colleagues and patients alike and more likely to face discrepancies with respect to pay. This was something I as a woman have been facing on a day to day basis ever since I joined medical school.
In India, nurses are commonly referred to as sisters. This is a term used with utmost respect. Over the last few years I have noticed that no matter if am wearing a white coat or a stethoscope or writing orders for medications for the patient, most patients will address me as sister. I'm not degrading the role of a nurse in healthcare, without them there is no concept of hospitals, yet, all i want to highlight is that in 2020 it is still easier for a patient to see a woman as a nurse than a doctor. No matter my male counterparts may not be as efficient or suitable dressed, yet the likelihood of them being addressed as doctors is far more. Is this to do with the fact that most countries still do not have enough female doctors? Or, is it more to do with the fact that nurses are generally female. By relegating the role of nursing only to women folk, patients tend to view that position as a caretaker type of role while they look at men as primary decision makers.
As you can see, this gender bias is something all of us women have faced at some point or the other. This talk on gender disparities in medicine just opened my eyes to the extent of the problem and realised we have a long way to go before the problem is addressed.
I really enjoyed the ICGRx summit hosted by Dr. Raj, it was very insightful & well constructed! I enjoyed the fact that the discussions were not only interesting but educative. For example, the effect of COVID-19 on our society & the gender disparities in Medicine (which was my favourite topic of discussion). It made me understand that although women may face discrimination in the medical field, it doesn’t make them any less qualified to practice Medicine. It also encouraged young women to challenge the status quo & be part of something great. Overall, It was a great day & I hope to attend many more summits in the future.
Attending the ICGRx conference was very insightful and inspiring as it touched on lived experiences.
I can only describe my lived experiences using my favourite poem by Maya Angelou-“ I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them FEEL.”
Lessons learnt from experiences can be reflected in this saying by Bil Keane - “ Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today is gift.”
How can I use today which is a gift to make a difference?
It starts with one knowing thyself, SWOT analysis, emotional intelligence, empathy and being at peace. Once one is at peace then one is ready to be kind to others.
The staff are the ‘ heartbeat’ of an organisation and need to be valued and celebrated by listening to them and making changes that is acceptable to all.
I quote Mahatma Ghandi -“ Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
It was great seeing people from different countries who have been inspired by events coming together, sharing experiences and making a difference in the world.
My reflection of attendance was watching the new problem solving mnemonic I coined being used.
The mnemonic is called A.D.E.
A stands for acceptance and accountability.
D stands for diversity and different.
E stands for equity and effort.
Thank you @IGlavee.
Blog Piece on Reflections from the ICGRx Summit
1. Crisis Innovation: never let a good crisis go to waste.
Topic: Medical Technology and Innovation
During this pandemic, we've had to adapt at a rapid speed, learn in different environments and understand the impact COVID is having on the most vulnerable in society. Learning from this can aid us to manage a second peak; it’s paramount we take into account the behavioural science aspect of how society is engaging with scientific information and guidelines. As a medical student, having clinical placement suspended caused a collapse in the conventional education of many medical students across the UK. However a way I was able to navigate myself in the midst of uncertainty was being part of a team that were providing daily clinical mcqs on Instagram in the run up to medical exams during the lockdown period. This not only helped my peers but also helped me in keeping disciplined with revision for exams. The adaptation of medical education and the way patients communicate with their doctors has provided a catalyst to the path of virtual learning and virtual consultations.
2. Medicine is the most humane of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanaties The purpose of power is to give it away.
Topic: Evolution of healthcare in the wake of COVID-19
COVID has revealed the numerous pre existing barriers and long standing inequalities in society today. The updated BAME report on COVID-19 conveys that action is needed not on the individual level but also in the structural and societal environment.
Medicine requires us not only to treat our patients but to also understand their barriers in life; Empowering those more vulnerable and less privileged requires us to make space for their voices to be truly listened too and heard. As our patients’ advocates, we have to be vocal in our privileged positions to inform and educate others to create change.
3. You can’t take care of others as a healthcare professional without first taking care of yourself
Topic: Prioritising Patient Safety
The greatest importance lies in the recognition of when you are Hungry, Angry, Late or Tired (HALT) and the necessary steps to take to reduce compromising patient safety. Medics are naturally notorious for putting others before themselves; however this is not always best for the patient. To reduce all potential for human error, we have to check in with ourselves before our patients check in with us.
As we navigate a world which promotes a culture which suggests that one person’s win is
another person’s loss and bare the weight of an atmosphere which constantly reinforces
that we must strive to outdo each other, it is far too often that as medical students, we are
pitted against each other.
The ICGRx Summit, however, showed us that there is a much better environment to learn in
than this damaging and toxic climate, and served as a much-needed reminder that cultural
and societal change is possible. Throughout the day, a continuous stream of thoughts on
twitter served to only lift up and empower individuals, celebrating their unique skills,
perspectives and passions.
The last days, weeks and months have been framed by global events which represent some
of the worst aspects of society and our world, and have at times instilled a sense of
overwhelming hopelessness and pessimism in me, something which I am sure that I am not
alone in, but ICGRx reminded me that despite the daily news articles and statistics, there is
much more out there than this one negative reality.
Like many individuals, it is all too frequent, that I find myself wishing things would go back to
normal . The ICGRx summit, however, truly solidified the notion, that we must do everything
in our power to ensure that we do not return to our pre-coronavirus world, but instead must
strive for greater, more meaningful and non-tokenistic equality and have everyone’s voices
Thus, when I closed my laptop at the end of the day, though my eyes were tired from hours
of screen time, I was energised and invigorated by the talks, panels and abstracts I had
witnessed throughout the course of the day, my mind alive with ideas. The fellow attendees
and speakers at ICGRx truly relit the hope in me that a positive and optimistic future is
possible, and demonstrated how this future is in capable and caring hands.
The day started with an insightful presentation on power by Helena Bevan, which featured
the following quote by Rebecca Solnit:
“When we talk of social change, we talk of movements, a word that
suggests vast groups of people walking together, leaving behind one way
and travelling towards another”
The sentiment of this quotation was embodied throughout the summit, and permeated
through all the many, varied messages that were highlighted from the hours of 11.00 – 19.00
on Sunday the 28/06/2020. This was from the very first session which amplified student
voices, highlighting how we can shatter hierarchies, and tangibly move away from old power.
Before the ICGRx summit, power was something that I did not feel I had, or necessarily even
wanted to have, as for me it was it as synonymous with old, stale suits, hierarchies and
values which were not mine – but this has now changed.
ICGRx demonstrated that when we move from old power to new; from currency to current;
from commanded to shared and ensure that this power is not held by the few but made by
many, then power is indeed something I want to partake in.
Beyond conceptualising this different, more accessible and more desirable version of power,
ICGRx went on to highlight that there is already power within me and within all of us, which
we can individually and collectively use to make the positive differences we want to enact.
ICGRx demonstrated that there is a leader, a role model, and a change-maker inside of
everyone, and that all of us can bring the power deep inside of us to the surface, and
harness this for good.
Power is not a finite resource, but there exists an unlimited reservoir that we can all tap in
to, and when individuals and systems use power positively, this can grow more power in
more and more people.
Together we can shift power and become leaders and make change.
To end, let me ask you, what makes you feel powerful?
After discovering ICGRx on twitter, I opened the website and found a timetable for a summit that looked truly amazing. There were so many things going on, so many topics being discussed and so many different speakers. I was enticed by this and thought I would love to attend, but it will probably be incredibly expensive. From my experience so far, although conferences are at subsidised fee for medical students, they tend to still be quite costly and usually the more professionals involved, the greater the expense. I was absolutely delighted when I saw that the summit was free, and I thought it is an amazing opportunity and one that I should not miss.
On the morning of the summit, I got my notebook and coffee at the ready and watched along as the programme was introduced. I was amazed by how professional the set up was, and it was evident that so much work had come into making it an enjoyable experience for everyone watching. We got to hear from students and doctors from all across the world – all openly sharing stories, struggles, opportunities, and research. By about noon I was sure I had learned more from this summit, than I had done from any other conference I had physically attended ... and most of the day was still left!
One speaker in particular I enjoyed was Peter Brennan. Not only was he incredibly open and honest about his experiences, he was encouraging and inspiring. He told us a couple of things that really stuck with me, and I still remember now; Number 1: It is a bad day if you do not learn something new. For number 2, you are more likely to make a mistake and should HALT if you are hungry, angry, late, or tired. So why do I specifically remember these and what have I done with this information?
For the first one, this actually gave me some lockdown motivation (which was definitely needed!) to get involved in some different projects. I realised that since I finished my intercalated degree, I have not been doing things to keep my mind as active as it could be. After this, I decided to get involved in becoming a brand ambassador for some outreach for medicine companies, enter a couple of essay competitions and join an academic research society as a committee member. In the week following the summit, I have definitely been a lot busier than I was in the week leading up to it – but my brain is definitely happy being used, so thank you ICGRx and thank you Peter Brennan.
For the second, HALT is incredibly powerful and really does speak to you. Hearing that you are 30 times more likely to make a mistake if you are angry or fall under the other categories is shocking, and of course, potentially dangerous. It really did make me realise that part of being a good doctor (or a good medical student) is looking after yourself. You need to make sure you are at your physical and mental best before you can make anyone else better. Using this information, when I return to my clinical placements next month, I have a goal to fuel myself correctly for the day ahead. We can joke about people being ‘Hangry’ but in this context, it is incredibly dangerous. Similarly, I now know the importance of having an outlet for stress management and why taking a second to breathe is important. Leading on from this, managing my time properly to ensure I am not late (which is something that would definitely make me angry). Finally, sleeping well and not using coffee or sugar as a substitute for energy. For me to get the best out of myself, and for colleagues, doctors and patients to get the best out of me, I have to be good to myself.
Other than being inspired and now having lots of positive projects to keep me busy, I now get to view and read about all of the amazing projects the team at ICGRx are getting involved in, so the drive and great mental attitude I got my the summit can continue. I am thoroughly looking forward to the next one!
ICGRxLive: immersive, informative and insightful
Attending my first ever grand round or summit virtually was certainly not what I had envisioned when thinking about my future involvement within research and collaboration, however, ICGRx made the experience feel as though I was really part of a community. The virtual studio and technology that went into streaming speakers and panels worldwide can have been no mean feat, but it was pulled off almost perfectly, and being able to attend any event from the comfort of your own bed is definitely a bonus! The sheer amount of organisation and planning from the dedicated tea was clear to see, and everyone there seemed genuinely honoured to be involved.
ICGRxLive provided a great opportunity, not only to hear from the valued and intelligent speakers, who had all kindly volunteered their time, but also to engage with the wonderful community Medical Twitter, all over the globe. The feeling of being connected with so many people, all sharing your own interests and passions conducting eloquent and intuitive discussions over the Internet, was innovative and exciting. I felt like my voice was being heard, and that I had entered a space where everyone was welcomed. Being able to listen to those more experienced than me, and hear their insight into challenges they have faced, was a fantastic way to learn for me and to become more aware of the current events that affect us all. I have been interested in research prior to this, but seeing the vast array of wonderful presenters, speakers and panellists presenting their research and having important conversations about healthcare has really inspired me to get involved with something similar in the future.
I took away some powerful messages about the future of our healthcare, and how I should reflect on conducting myself as a future healthcare professional. Helen Bevan’s opener around power and how it is shifting in our healthcare system was an insightful message into how we can evolve and change our delivery of care to best suit our patients’ needs, openly sharing with each other and working together. We all have power to invoke change, and by sharing our power we can achieve a sustainable and patient-centred system of care. As shared in the Impact of Covid-19 on Society panel, our NHS is centred around ‘flexibility, collaboration and [its] values…’, and it is so important to keep those things in mind as we continue our work, not only during this pandemic, but once we move forward too. However, we can only move forward together, and that will not happen when there continues to be disparities and discrimination within the healthcare system. The most thought-provoking panel for me was the Gender Disparities panel, in which the motherhood penalty was discussed. As a young woman, I have not been too aware of the barriers that may face me in the future, much to my naivety and shielding by my privileged background. Listening to the strong women featured on this panel, my eyes were opened to the ways in which I might be affected by my gender and my desire to be a mother, but more so I was given hope that things will change, and that I will be supported in my journey as hopefully both a parent and physician one day. We can live in a world where women are leaders, we can live in a world where women don’t have to choose between their personal and professional lives, and we can live in a world where women have equality and justice. But, to achieve this, as Jane Dacre so aptly described, ‘We need to stop designing workforces that promote the white male above other people. We need to have zero tolerance.’
I was lucky to have access to the technology in order to watch this summit. I am lucky to be in a place where I am studying medicine with so many opportunities lying ahead of me. And ICGRxLive showed me that I am lucky to be living in a progressive age where we are continuously fighting for change to allow our patients to have the best possible access to healthcare. I felt included, informed and inspired by watching this summit, and I hope future generations of students and healthcare professionals will have the good fortune as I to attend these events for years to come.
A virtual, interactive and global event? I never thought it was possible to combine these
three features successfully but the ICGRx actually did. Although the event was held virtually,
I found it incredibly easy to interact with fellow attendees and also speakers on the stage.
This event was the perfect opportunity to build a network of global connections ranging
from students to professionals.
Alongside the level of interaction on the platform and on Twitter, the wide range of content
was remarkable; from the student response to the COVID-19 pandemic to medical
technologies and the future of healthcare post-pandemic, every panel was diverse and
featured thought-provoking discussions that attendees like me could get involved in, live.
As a medical student, this was my first experience of a global and virtual conference as well
as my first time submitting an abstract and video along with my team. We, More Viral Than
The Virus UK (MVTTV) , are a student-led organisation developing and designing digital
content about COVID-19 for various platforms such as Instagram. As a team, we submitted
our video to the ‘Student response to COVID-19’ category. During the event day, it was
exciting to watch the videos of other teams too.
One panel discussion that I found especially insightful was Diversity in Medicine. An
important point was made by Naomi Nkinsi in regard to being taught about anti-racism
material as a physician; physicians aren’t experts in every field and therefore we should be
learning about anti-racism and other diversities from experts in those fields. Moreover, she
explained how Diversity itself is a broad term, encompassing a range of minority
populations, and we need to be more specific. Dr Zach West also concluded that ‘’Black
history is all of our history’’ and therefore needs to be integrated into medical curriculum; an
example of this importance is comparing the presentation of Kawasaki on Black patients
with White patients.
An article by Dr Nada Al-Hadithy, who was also on the Diversity in Healthcare panel, about
how the NHS needs to do more to support its workforce has important statistics which
reflect the need for changes. For instance, 41 percent of NHS doctors are from Black and
Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds however only 8 percent of the NHS Trust chairs, and
non-executives are BME. We need more role models of diverse backgrounds to help the next
generation of healthcare professionals, like myself.
The ICGRx also featured discussions on how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact future care
and how the pandemic has demonstrated just how quickly we can all adapt to a new
working system. As pointed out by multiple panellists, it (COVID-19) is something that we are
learning new things about every day and I believe it is wrong to negatively judge anybody
that is finding this changed way of life difficult. Moreover, we should see the challenges as
positive learning opportunities or, in the words of Daniel Ting , a chance to innovate- as he
Another panel regarding Patient Safety was particularly interesting as it linked to the need
for professionals and students to take care of their own health so that they can safely and
effectively care for others (patients and peers). ‘’You’re 30 times more likely to make a
mistake when you’re angry’’- Surgeon Peter Brennan. There is a greater focus on caring for
our mental health at medical schools and across the NHS, however there is still room for
improvement and still some stigma to rid. I am glad that this global event dedicated an
entire panel to Patient Safety which links to mental health, as it has encouraged us all to
reflect and evaluate in our lives.
In conclusion, I leave the event feeling inspired to build connections with people in the field
of Medicine and beyond (collaborating with air traffic control to establish efficient patient
systems), to see challenges as opportunities and to definitely attend more events, like this
one, in the future. It’s also important to come together for sustainable changes and to
understand the concept of new power (Helen Bevan).
A huge thank you to the organisers, sponsors, speakers, fellow abstract-submitters and