Posted on: 4 June 2020

Staff from our Hillingdon addictions service (ARCH) came away with honours during a virtual medical conference for a presentation on an educational QI project.

Dr Marie Edison.pngMarie Edison (former Foundation Year Doctor) and Jeffrey Fehler (Consultant Psychiatrist) won a prize for best oral presentation in the ‘Psychiatry and Mental Health’ stream of the International Virtual Medical Conference. (IVMC). They won a one month subscription to PasTest (a revision bank software for doctors).

They spoke about their QI project that comprised an education programme (six interactive teaching sessions) for Addictions staff to improve knowledge and confidence in managing substance users with complex comorbidities.

The project aimed to improve understanding of the physical and mental health consequences of addictions, how these are managed and the treatment needs of particular population groups accessing addiction treatment.

Marie said: “I saw approximately 200 delegates tuning in. The conference was incredibly well run, technical glitches were very few and were quickly resolved… it was a really fun day.  There was even a networking section where participants were matched online to meet and chat.”

The pair were originally due to present a poster about the project at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare, which had been cancelled due to Covid-19.

Not wanting to waste their efforts, they submitted an abstract to a virtual medical conference they had heard about.

The conference was established to provide a digital platform to those of us with no opportunity to attend or present at a conference because of Covid-19 and the resulting worldwide lockdown.

Conference organisers MedAll felt that now more than ever, it is vital to share research and best practice- but to do it differently.

This entirely digital conference had a main ‘stage’ for speaker sessions.  The morning session focussed on Covid-related topics, including a New Zealand perspective on managing the pandemic, caring for critically ill patients with Covid-19 and managing the pandemic in challenging third world locations around the world.

Workshops and oral presentations took place in the afternoon.  Marie was  competitively selected to present an oral presentation on the findings of the QI project in the ‘Psychiatry and Mental Health’ stream (other streams included most other medical specialties including General Practice, Medicine, Surgery and Paediatrics).

The conference ended with  a presentation on the ‘Future of Medicine’ by Prof Shafi Ahmed,  described as a  Consultant Surgeon /  Innovator /  Futurist and Entrepreneur and known in the media as ‘the world's most watched surgeon’.