Special Interests and Collaborations

VdGM hosts a variety of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Collaborations with regional counterparts and a number of external organizations and networks.
Leads coordinate work being developed by each SIG, while Liaisons keep us up to date on developments in other regions, organizations and networks allowing for better collaboration and sharing of useful information.
Through our Liaisons and SIG Leads, VdGM aims to provide support to our members as they participate in activities that interest them as well as allowing them to take advantage of international opportunities that arise.


Links: ASPIRE Webpage on vdgm.eu, ASPIRE Website

Read all about ASPIRE on our webpage dedicated to this leadership program.

Liaison to ASPIRE
Maria João Nobre (Portugal)

Maria João grew up by the sea, loves to travel and is an enthusiast about teaching, a free thinker who is looking for new ways to be motivated about her career.

Email: aspire.vdgm@gmail.com
Links: EFPC Website, EFPC Facebook, EFPC Twitter

The European Forum for Primary Care aims to improve the health of the population by promoting strong Primary Care. This is done by advocating for Primary Care, by generating data and evidence on Primary Care and by exchanging information between its members. The EFPC seeks to expand its membership and thereby to become a leading force for strengthening Primary Care in Europe. 

Liaison to EFPC
Tuğba Çalışkan (Turkey)
Email: efpc.vdgm@gmail.com
Links: EGPRN Website, EGPRN Facebook, EGPRN Twitter

EGPRN is the WONCA Europe Network for Research. The European General Practice Research Network is an organisation of general practitioners and other health professionals involved in research in primary care and family medicine. Its aim is to provide a suitable setting in which to discuss and develop research in primary care; to foster and coordinate multinational studies, to exchange experiences and to develop a validated scientific basis for general practice. In addition, EGPRN also offers general practitioners a chance to meet foreign colleagues prompting local and international research collaboration.

Liaison to EGPRN
Vanja Lazić (Croatia)

Vanja is a trainee, PhD and masters student, who spends all money on traveling with Fran Luka the two-year-old, wife Nika and miniature schnauzers Nox and Lun.

Email: egprn.vdgm@gmail.com
Links: EQuiP Website, EQuiP Facebook, EQuiP LinkedIn, EQuiP YouTube

EQuiP is the WONCA Europe Network for Quality and Safety. The aim of EQuiP is to contribute to the achievement of high levels of quality and safety of care for patients in general practice in all European countries. EQuiP offers a structure for collaboration and exchange of expertise and methodology and initiates projects on development and evaluation with regard to Quality Improvement and Quality Management and Development.

Liaison to EQuiP
Sophie Scott (United Kingdom)

I am a GP registrar in Bournemouth with a specialist interest in Global Health. I enjoy to travel, work abroad and meet people from around the world. I have worked in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. I have a particular passion for tropical medicine and reducing health inequalities and I think a really good means of achieving this is through quality improvement!

Email: equip.vdgm@gmail.com
Links: EURACT Website, EURACT Facebook, EURACT Twitter

The European Academy of Teachers in General Practice (EURACT) was launched in March 1992. The overall aim of the Academy is "to foster and maintain high standards of care in European general practice by promoting general practice as a discipline by learning and teaching." Since the launch of the Academy it has grown to be the largest personal membership organisation in Europe, with over 800 members in nearly 40 countries. EURACT is one of the WONCA Europe Networks.

Liaison to EURACT
Sophie Sun (France)

Sophie loves foreign languages, research and teaching, and is convinced that general practice is the keystone for better healthcare for all.

Email: euract.vdgm@gmail.com
Links: EURIPA Website, EURIPA Facebook, EURIPA Twitter

The European Rural and Isolated Practitioners Association (EURIPA), the WONCA Europe Network for Rural Health, is a unique body in that it is the first regional rural health organisation in the world. EURIPA's principals are:

  • Partnership, sharing and understanding
  • Research and development
  • Education and information
  • Technology and innovation
  • Promotion of health and elimination of health inequalities
  • Development of cost effective, patient centred health care systems
  • Dissemination of good practice
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Email: euripa.vdgm@gmail.com
Links: EUROPREV Website, EUROPREV Twitter

EUROPREV is the WONCA Europe Network for Prevention and Health Promotion in Family Medicine and General Practice. It aims to promote evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion in Family Medicine in Europe. Family Medicine is a complex discipline, and in the prevention field, there are often difficult decisions to be made with our patients. To screen or not to screen. To advise a behaviour change or not to advise. To prescribe a preventive drug or not to prescribe. The EUROPREV network is a space of debate for those who want to see beyond the smog and to discover what the best available scientific evidence shows us.


If you are a young family doctor (in the first five years after qualification as a family physician) and you have a special interest on evidence-based prevention and health promotion, feel free to join the VdGM-EUROPREV collaboration. You may ask your national association/college to write you a letter of appointment as your country's junior delegate in the EUROPREV Council and, thus, attend the yearly EUROPREV Forum for free. 


For any questions about this collaboration, please send an email to the email below.

Liaison to EUROPREV
Emmily Schaubroeck (Germany)

Passionate about 'Equity in Health' through a 'Think global, act local’ strategy, Emily also likes to get to know the world by hiking, carrying all what she actually needs on her back.

Email: europrev.vdgm@gmail.com
Links: PCDE Website, PCDE Facebook, PCDE Twitter

Primary Care Diabetes Group (PCDE) is the WONCA Europe Special Interest Group on Diabetes. PCDE provides a focal point for primary care clinicians and their patients. Its purpose is to promote high standards of care throughout Europe. Emphasis is placed on incorporating evidence based medicine into daily practice as well as promoting diabetes education and research in primary care.

Liaison to PCDE
Jose Castellanos (Spain)

Jose is curious about life in different places and contexts, he enjoys learning and trying new things.

Email: pcde.vdgm@gmail.com
Links: Webpage, Facebook, Twitter

This initiative was born out of a working group at the Vasco de Gama Movement Preconference of WONCA Europe Conference 2014, in Lisbon, Portugal.


Initially, known as #VdGMChangeMakers, the group was formed to develop tools and resources to aid young GPs interested in initiating changes in their local and national health and education systems. It has evolved since its inception to become an international community for communication and collaboration between young GPs interested in change management and innovation, with participants from Europe, the U.S., Asia and Africa.


The primary platform for this evolution has been social media. The group became notorious for their presence on Facebook and Twitter, most notably the regular #FMChangeMakers Tweetchats.


The group aims to analyse the contribution of tweetchats to the evolution of the #FMChangeMakers network so as to determine the value of further investment in developing the culture of Tweetchats, as well as provide possible lessons for other projects/communities. The basic topics for the working groups are:

- Professional networking & collaboration

- Communication skills & patient empowerment

- Access to & generation of independent evidence and guidelines for primary care

- Improving image and policy in family medicine and primary care.


As the general idea of the #FMChangeMakers project is Change, so everything within the project is open to change, innovation and improvement. The group warmly welcomes creative minds in primary care to share their ideas with them. 

Liaison to YDM Collaboration #FMChangemakers
Christopher Patrick Reichel (Austria) & Hassna Erami (France)
Email: info+fmchangemakers@vdgm.eu
Links: Website, Twitter

This project is conducted by members of the regional Young Doctors Movements for Young and Future Family Doctors within the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA). The purpose of the project is to build a network of individuals on Social Media, interested in receiving information on, promoting and/or participating in digital initiatives run by members of WONCA Young Doctors' Movements (YDMs), like the Rural Family Medicine Café, #FMChangeMakers, #1WordforFamilyMedicine and Balint 2.0. The project members also aim to maintain a calendar/map of Family Medicine related events across the globe and a list of publications by members of WONCA's Young Doctors' Movements.

Liaison to YDM Collaboration #SoMeAmbassadors Network
Luís Pinho Costa (Portugal)

A digital health enthusiast who is passionate about finding innovative and cutting-edge solutions, yet sustainable and evidence-based, to improve people's health and to address the current challenges of health systems and organizations.

Email: ydm.some.ambassadors@gmail.com
Links: Rural Seeds (Facebook), Rural Family Medicine Cafe (Facebook), Rural Health Success Stories (Facebook)

The Rural Seeds is a group made mainly by Young and Future family doctors, aimed at raising awareness and offering guidance on topics/issues pertaining to Rural Health. Their projects include the Rural Family Medicine Cafe and the Rural Health Success Stories.

Liaison to YDM Collaboration Rural Seeds
Veronika Rasic (Croatia)
Email: info+ruralseeds@vdgm.eu

Special Interest Groups

Links: Facebook

Welcome to the meeting point of enthusiastic Young and Future European Family Doctors passionate about Emergency Medicine and Science. Dear adrenaline addicts, in love with the rapid decision making based on the deep understanding of the mysteries of the human body, this SIG is for you. Here you can satiate your search for knowledge, propose and develop your most daring research projects and find support for your brilliant ideas among colleagues. Here you can share the medical, ethical and biosocioeconomic challenges you face day by day and the solutions you found learning and working in this exciting world of intelligent action. Be part of this exciting newborn project, created by and for us.

Lead of SIG on Emergency Medicine
Elena Klusova (Spain)

Elena is an adrenaline addict in love with the world of emergencies and a special passion for the humanity of family medicine; an inexhaustible defender of absolute justice and honesty.

Email: em.vdgm@gmail.com
Links: Facebook, Twitter

Family Violence is a major public health issue globally, having a serious impact on victims health. Despite this, education on this pervasive subject is lacking in GP training across Europe.


In 2013, the VdGM SIG on Family Violence Group was born, aspiring to empower GPs and GP trainees with skills and knowledge to identify and deal with Family Violence and its consequences.


The SIG aims to provide information on how to act on cases of family violence within Primary Care. To achieve this goal the group has been providing training on family violence for GP trainees and young GPs. The group also intends to have a close collaboration with the WONCA Special Interest Group on Family Violence.


Activities (examples):

• Survey on educational programs about Family Violence available in pre and post-graduated training in Europe

• Collaboration with #FMChangeMakers in upcoming Tweetchats Past activities

• 19th WONCA Europe Conference, Lisbon 2-5 July 2014 – Workshop “How to approach Family violence?”

• 20th WONCA Europe Conference, Istanbul 20-25 October 2015 – Workshop “The right to be protected – a practical approach to Family Violence within Primary Care”

• 21st WONCA Europe Conference, Copenhagen 15-18 June 2016 – Workshop “Structural and intimate partner violence: empowering family doctors with identification and management tools”

• 2nd VdGM Forum, Dublin 20-21 February 2015 – Workshop “How should we approach Family Violence in Primary Care?”

• 2nd VdGM Forum, Dublin 20-21 February 2015 – Poster Presentation “Domestic Violence in Primary Care: Do we know what to do?”

• VdGM Pre-Conference, Copenhagen 14-15 June 2016 – Workshop “Family Violence – a collaboration between VdGM FV Group and WONCA SIG-FV”

• 4th Iberoamerican Congress of Family Medicine, Montevideo 16-19 March 2015 – Workshop “Violencia Domestica - Cual es el papel de la Atención Primaria?”

Lead of SIG on Family Violence
Nina Monteiro (Portugal)

Nina is a feminist, travel addict, amateur photographer, cat lover.

Email: vdgm.fv@gmail.com
Links: Facebook, Twitter

How do inequality and health relate? Increasing evidence indicates that many health outcomes can be linked to different levels and patterns of inequality within a given population. Despite remarkable progress in health status and life expectancy in OECD countries over the past decades, inequalities persist not only between countries, but also among specific groups population within each country. Such health inequalities are linked to many factors, including differences in exposure to risk factors and access to health care.


The "Equally Different" SIG aims to research and discuss health inequalities and their impacts on patients as well as the role of health professionals on changing such disparities. At the moment the SIG is studying and analyzing structural violence in Primary Care, in particular refugees’ health and the impact of gender on everyday practice.


Activities (examples):

21th Wonca Europe Conference 2016, Copenhagen - Workshop: Health inequalities in primary care: structural violence in everyday practice 

20th WONCA Europe Conference, Istanbul 20-25th October 2015 - Workshop: The Impact of Gender in Primary Care

2nd VdGM Forum, 20-21st February 2015 - Poster presentation: “and they lived happily ever after, didn’t they?”

2nd VdGM Forum, 20-21st February 2015 - Workshop: “the impact of gender on everyday practice” 

4th Iberoamerican Congress of Family Medicine, Montevideo 16-19 March 2015 - Workshop: El doctor y la doctora: encuentra las diferencias 

Lead of SIG on Health Inequities
Yusi Mariani (Portugal) & Sara Rigon (Italy)

Yusi mixes an european mind with a very latin soul, enjoys photography and travelling and is deeply in love with her daughters; she is a passionate about Family Planning and Women Health 

Sara is a proud Family Doctor Without Borders, a passionate women and human rights activist who cherishes time spent with family and friends and loves going to the movies and any form of storytelling

Email: equallydifferentvdgm@gmail.com
Links: Facebook

Mental health is crucial not only for our patients and community but also for our colleagues and our self care. The SIG is planning to do research to define the condition and to structure sustainable solutions.

Lead of SIG on Mental Health
Özden Gökdemir (Turkey)

Özden is a passionate about HealthForAll and Health Education Plans, she works in Izmir with precious Faculty of Medicine students.

Email: vdgm.mentalhealth@gmail.com
Links: Facebook

Welcome to the meeting point of enthusiastic Young and Future Family Doctors who share a special interest on Migrant Care, International Health and Travel Medicine. This is the right SIG to share the challenges you face and the solutions you found when working in an increasingly multicultural and interconnected world. Be part of the positive change.


The SIG hold its debut workshop "Improving Migrant Care in Europe - learning from each other now and in the future" at Wonca Europe Preconference 2018.


Do you have any idea on the theme of migrant care, international health and travel medicine? Contact the SIG and the group will try to guide you and support you in organizing the activity (workshop, oral presentation, poster, research, etc). The SIG can always help you to find work partners among its members. 

Lead of SIG on Migrant Care, International Health and Travel Medicine
Cristiano Figueiredo (Portugal)

Cristiano loves to cycle, travel and go on exchanges; he is a health innovator having started projects like Walk with a Doc Lisboa, Lisbon Social Prescribing Project and Bengalisboa Community Health Project.

Email: migrantcare.vdgm@gmail.com
Links: Whatsapp

Activities (examples): The SIG has successfully concluded a collaborative research group on barriers to reasearch in early career GPs and the development of a white paper on collaboration with EGPRN.


Plans: work on early career GP researcher enablers; tangible outcomes of doing research; creating research ecosystems; creating mentorship opportunities and research training; using new technology to approach and network with early career GP researchers.

Lead of SIG on Research
Vanja Lazić (Croatia)

Vanja is a trainee, PhD and masters student who spends all money on travelling with Fran Luka the two-year-old, wife Nika and miniature schnauzers Nox and Lun.

Email: research.vdgm@gmail.com

Lead of SIG on Wellbeing
Siamak Zahmat (The Netherlands)
Email: info+sigwellbeing@vdgm.eu
Links: Facebook

Did you migrate to work in a country different to where you originally trained? Maybe, you didn't but you are interested in the topic. This SIG is for you all!


This SIG's mission is to analyze and define the needs of migrant family doctors in Europe/World, and share these with colleagues from national and international organizations to develop successful strategies for universal solutions.


This SIG's vision is to bring migrant family doctors in Europe/World together, reflect on barriers, stressors and their root causes. The group wants to create resources that characterise these issues and offer solutions. The group wants to defend migrant family doctors nationally and internationally, and train all family doctors to support and advocate for them.


This SIG was created for family doctors by family doctors who have experienced emigrating from one country and immigrated to another.

It was created in January 2019 and in six months the group had grown to 120 members suggesting that there is a need for support amongst this demographic. The group hopes to do this through research (publications and conference workshops), through providing informative materials and through creating a community to share challenges and joys.


The SIG believes that those who will migrate will migrate anyway. The SIG is not promoting active recruitment from overseas but, for those who have made the decision already, the group is there to understand the motivations of migration and support each other to make this transition smooth.

Lead of SIG on Workforce Migration
Alessio Platania (Italy) & Sonia Tsukagoshi (United Kingdom)

Alessio loves outdoors and exploring new places; he is an endlessly curious and always down to try something new. 

Sonia is a London GP, lecturer and researcher in Japan who plans entire day around her meals and loves to cook, eat and take photos.

Email: workforce.vdgm@gmail.com

SIG Lead: Oisín Brady Bates.

The aims of the group are to advocate for and develop strategies to promote awareness and positive practice strategies amongst family medicine practitioners in relation to planetary health issues.

Oisín Brady Bates ()

Oisín Brady Bates is a family medicine specialist trainee with the Trinity College Dublin General Practice Training Scheme.
He is passionate about social justice and is a firm believer in the transformative power of storytelling.

Email: planetaryhealth.vdgm@gmail.com