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Another year down and another fantastic turnout for the SPCR at SAPC. The University of Warwick hosted the 46th SAPC ASM from 12-14 July. By all accounts it resulted in lively talks and debate around key issues affecting the primary care environment under the theme 'Pioneering Change'.

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After an intense programme of workshops and talks, the social programme took delegates on a 5km run around Warwick followed by a sumptuous dinner and medieval entertainment at Wroxall Abbey, former home of Sir Christopher Wren.

School members were well represented, and special mention must be made of former Fellow, Assistant Professor Helen Atherton (Scientific Chair), who received the Yvonne Carter Award in 2014 while she was a School member at the University of Oxford.  Helen presented one of the two ‘Papers of Distinction’ at SAPC this year for her work on alternatives to face to face consultations in general practice.

In addition, five individuals and their research teams made stand-out contributions and congratulations must be extended to them:

Dr Jenni Burt presented her ‘Paper of Distinction’ from a School funded study ‘Developing appropriate polypharmacy in primary care’

SPCR Fellow at UCL Dr Nathan Davies was presented with the Yvonne Carter Award and spoke about his research on the challenges and uncertainty in end of life care for people with dementia

Department Lead at Newcastle University, Professor Louise Robinson, presented a plenary on dementia and research into practice. She later presented her School funded 85+ study for which she received the prestigious NAPCRG Senior Travel Prize

UCL’s John Barber won the NAPCRG Junior Travel Award, and

Bethany Bareham, Newcastle University, presented her doctoral research on older adults’ and health and social care workers’ perceptions of the consequences of drinking in later life and how these are prioritised in practice, in a Doctoral Masterclass.

She commented on the work she presented at SAPC: "I presented a comparison of perspectives from two syntheses surrounding older adults’ and health and social care workers’ views drinking in later life, conducted as part of my systematic review. I enjoyed being questioned on this from a primary care perspective. I also presented the major component of my work in a new session focussed on discussion of doctoral projects. Here, we considered queries raised by presenting students. As a very early career researcher, this was a major highlight of the event as it was fantastic for gathering fresh perspective on some of my queries surrounding data collection and analysis. It was also interesting and reassuring to hear how other students’ projects were developing, and some of their questions surrounding this. 

This year at the SAPC ASM, a new session was formulated to meet the needs of attending doctoral students. In the doctoral master class, the usual ten minute presentation slot was followed by a generous twenty minute discussion, where queries outlined by presenting students (including myself) were considered by the panel and an audience with very mixed academic backgrounds. It was interesting to hear about other students’ plans and experiences in their doctoral projects. I focussed on my study recruitment, data collection and preliminary analysis within my own presentation, and received some very useful suggestions. I hope that this session is continued in next year’s programme, and that more students are able to benefit from this fantastic opportunity.

Read CMAJ Associate Editor and professor of primary care Domhnall MacAuley’s blog on the day here.

Dr Jenni Burt sums up her experiences of the conference here.