Travel date: April 14, 2016
Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: VIII Latin American Congress on Palliative Care
Origin: Santiago, Chile / Destination: Mexico City, Mexico
This activity was useful as an instance of meeting with colleagues from neighboring countries, as an opportunity to learn about the work they do in areas of common interest
I think the main contribution of this conference in my daily practice is related to the observation of reality and the experiences of teams in different countries, contributing to the generation of new educational projects at the university to which I belong, as we are in the process of design and reorganization of the curriculum of undergraduate and graduate students who rotate our palliative care team voluntarily or as part of their mandatory rotations. Also we hope that within one year later than in Chile there is a possibility to train as a specialist in palliative medicine at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. All this also forces us to keep in constant search of new research projects and therefore it is very important to know the lines of research teams in Latin America.
For me, the contribution of the scholarship was a great help for the accomplishment of the trip, thinking about my experience and how to improve the IAHPC Traveling Scholarship, the only thing that would optimize would be the time of delivery in relation to the process of registration for the conference, as to send jobs the deadlines are long before knowing the results of the fellowship application.
I have the good fortune to practice palliative medicine in a multidisciplinary unit and dependent on a university hospital, in a country where palliative care also are guaranteed by law. This makes my reality is quite lucky, but does not represent the reality of the whole country, where most patients have some access, but often very late or limited by lack of human resources and lack of geographical coverage in more remote areas of major cities. Given this reality, the greatest need I see is training in issues of palliative care in all health professionals, but mainly doctors and nurses from the undergraduate, since the basic skills and symptom management should start since the treating physician makes the diagnosis of a terminal illness and thus more specialized groups could better solve more complex cases. To meet the training needs is essential that new educational opportunities are created in academic institutions for students in health careers, but also online training and internships for palliative care units, ideally supported certification and funding by the Ministry of Health. This conference was an instance of meeting with peers in the region that allows us to compare experiences and learn how each group has been resolving the same difficulties. The most valuable thing for me is the possibility of forming support networks with other teams to generate new knowledge through clinical studies as well as, patient referral networks and technical support.