Discount rate for students keen to attend national palliative care conference

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Discount rate for students keen to attend national palliative care conference

Full-time university students have the opportunity to attend this year’s national palliative care conference in Adelaide at a significantly discounted rate.

Student registration at the three-day conference from 6-8 September is $400, representing a heavily subsidised discount on the standard $1120 registration.

Leading University of Adelaide academic and practicing palliative medicine physician, Professor Gregory Crawford, said the conference represented a valuable opportunity for medical, nursing and allied health students to hear from national and international leaders in the specialty, network with like-minded people, and learn about research projects undertaken across a range of disciplines.

He said the conference had strong clinical content, with presentations on complex issues including pain and symptom management, and palliative care developments for people with motor neurone, end-stage kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

It also catered to special interests, such Indigenous and multicultural communities, paediatric palliative care, telehealth and aged care.

Strategies for developing resilience and fostering personal wellbeing, presentations on grief and bereavement support, and a panel discussion on assisted dying’s implications for palliative care catered well to students on a personal and professional level. Valuable too are sessions on volunteering, peer support models and compassionate communities, which stemmed from the conference theme -- Connection with Community.

Professor Crawford, who is part of the conference organising committee, said the student registration fee included the welcome reception and gala dinner, and that palliative care conferences were renowned for “ferocious dancing on the dancefloor”. Meeting the range of personalities at the conference would also give students a sense of who is drawn the profession, and their potential appeal as future colleagues.

“It’s a very active decision to work in palliative care and most people have been touched by something that has given them a passion in the area,” he said.

“You would hope that dealing with death would help you not to worry about the minutiae of life, and that dealing with death and dying should make you value life and people more. We want to help people live until they die, so you would think it attracts people who are kind, want to work together and have energy, which is maybe why we are a bit different.”

He hoped the conference would also help students to understand the significant value of continuing professional development as their careers progressed.

“It will help them understand that conferences are not just a junket or an opportunity to travel, but the chance to make networks with like-minded people around the world, see leaders in the field present stimulating information and become involved in education and research and linkages broader than their small clinical area.”

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) is subsidising the cost of registrations in order to inspire students to consider working or specialising in palliative care.

PCA CEO Liz Callaghan said the peak national body wanted Australia’s future leaders and policy influencers to be able to attend the conference, where they could meet with decision makers of today and people involved in the latest research.

Professor Crawford is chairman of Palliative Care SA, a senior consultant in palliative medicine and the director of research and education at the Northern Adelaide Palliative Service, and a professor of palliative medicine within the discipline of medicine at the University of Adelaide. He is also president-elect of the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine for the Royal Australian College of Physicians.

For more information about the Australian Palliative Care Conference 2017, and to register, click here.