The Vasco da Gama Movement is the WONCA Europe Network for New and Future Family Physicians, defined as those in training for Family Medicine/General Practice and in the first five years after qualification as a family physician/general practitioner.
The Movement begun out of the work that was started during the first preconference meeting for junior doctors prior to the WONCA Europe conference in Amsterdam in 2004. The ideals were set down in a meeting in January 2005 in Lisbon, the home port of Vasco da Gama, from where he set out on a similar voyage of discovery, and for this reason his name has been adopted. The Movement was formally launched at the Kos WONCA Europe Conference in September 2005.
Successful annual Pre-conferences (in the days prior to WONCA Conferences) have been held since 2006. From 2014 onwards VdGM also holds a yearly Forum.
Council - The ruling body of the Vasco da Gama Movement. Its members - the National Delegates - are appointed/elected by WONCA Europe member oganisations.
Executive Group - Is elected from the VdGM Europe Council.
Theme Groups - There are currently five thme groups: Research, Education and Training, Exchange, Image and Beyond Europe.
New and Future family physicians in the WONCA Europe region have established a movement to promote the discipline of Family Medicine through:
- Providing a forum, support and information for trainees and new GPs through access to WONCA Europe regional conferences and pre-conferences.
- Establishing a communication network between European trainees and new GPs and identifying their concerns, doubts and needs and helping to address them.
- Improving the quality of training programmes for general practice by establishing a central information database on European programmes, and setting quality standards.
- Writing and publishing newsletters concerning the movement for national colleges and associations
- Working with host organizing Committees in organising junior doctors preconference meetings held during WONCA Europe regional conferences
- Collaborating with national colleges and associations in general practice, and stimulating the formation of national representation of new and future GPs
- Collaboration with international organisations of general practice and the representation of the movement at international meetings.
This is a new and exciting movement, setting out on a journey of discovery, developing ideas for the discipline of general practice in the future.
To help in achieving these ambitions each WONCA Europe member organisation is asked to develop a robust process of identifying and sponsoring new and future family physicians to the Movement.