BAPIO YDF holds a very well-attended National MERiT Conference

The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin – Young Doctors’ Forum (BAPIO YDF) held its annual National Merit Conference in Manchester on April 20, 2024. The theme of the conference was research and advancement in medicine. The conference elicited huge interest from young medical professionals across the country and abroad with close to 150 delegates attending the conference either in person or virtually.

The conference began with a welcome by Tara-Bella Halai, co-chair of the conference organising committee followed by a keynote speech by Prof JS Bamrah, Consultant Psychiatrist, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and immediate past Chair of BAPIO on the topic of Challenges for New Medics. This was followed by a panel discussion on Academia in the UK and Routes into it as a Junior Doctor. The panelists for this session included Dr Aidan Haslam (IMT2, West Midlands, pursuing a PhD in Haematology), Dr Yousef Hyder (ST4 Neurology, Stroke and General Internal Medicine, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust), Dr Martina Colicchia (Clinical Teaching Fellow, current PhD student, University of Birmingham), Professor Suparna Dasgupta (Consultant Paediatrician, East Cheshire NHS Trust) and Professor Soumit Dasgupta (Consultant Neurotologist, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust). 

Other keynote speakers during the conferences included Professor Joseph Pappachan (Consultant Endocrinologist and Research Lead in Endocrinology at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust), Dr Rhys Lodwick (Consultant Acute Physician, Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals) and Mr Pankaj Chandak (PhD, Hunterian Professor, RCSEng, Post CCT Fellow, Transplant Surgery, Research Fellow, Royal London Hospital). The speeches covered a wide range of topics including networking and leadership, shifts in medical practice, and also discussed some interesting research avenues including machine perfusion and 3D organ-printing.

In addition to the riveting keynote speeches and panel discussion, there were 4 parallel workshops on surgical skills, ultrasound (USS) guided cannulation, research methodologies and an introduction to machine learning facilitated by Dr Ramanish Ravishankar and team, Dr Asim Hussain and team, Dr Deepali Sharma and team and Sayan Biswas respectively. For the virtual attendees, there was a workshop on ‘A paradigm shift to anti-discrimination – Using Good medical practice as a lever for change’ facilitated by Miss Tista Chakravarty- Gannon and an introduction to research methodologies workshop. 

The highlight of the afternoon session was a research & innovation competition which was judged by Dr Jaspal Dua (Consultant in CHD, External Advisor, Parliamentary & Health Services Ombudsman, UK) and Dr Harikrishnan Nair (Consultant Nephrologist, North Wales). There were 10 oral, 14 poster presentations and a display of 15 e-posters which were all assessed to be of a high standard by the judges. All selected abstracts have also been invited to be published in  the BAPIO Institute for Health Research’s open-access journal, ‘The Physician’.

The conference concluded with the award ceremony and closing remarks by Dr Yuva Ravindran, co-chair of the conference organising committee and Pratik Ramkumar. Based on the feedback received, the conference proved to be a great model of interprofessional learning and networking with topics ranging from areas of medical ethics to scientific and clinical knowledge. The discussions and sessions at the conference were useful to a wide range of delegates in different levels of training and pathways. BAPIO YDF intends to leverage the success of this year’s conference to plan an even more impactful National Merit Conference in 2025.

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