Memorable moments: the 13th EAPC World Congress

Dr Corinne Cohen Peimer shares her personal highlights from the 13th EAPC World Congress held in Prague on 29 May to 2 June 2013.

Dr Corinne Cohen Peimer

Dr Corinne Cohen Peimer

I am an American family medicine physician who recently moved to Switzerland, and I’ve worked in a hospice in the town of Blonay since December 2012. I was invited to attend the 13th EAPC World Congress in Prague by my good friend and nurse colleague, Esther Schmidlin, who also happens to sit on the EAPC board. Having heard much about the EAPC from Esther over the years, I was eager for my own hands-on discovery of the organisation and its biennial congress. As a ‘first-timer’, I will share some of my impressions, perhaps reinforcing what many of you have experienced several times, and hopefully enticing those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to attend to come along to the next EAPC congress.

Prof Nathan Cherny presents results from The International Collaborative Project to evaluate the availability and accessibility of opioids for the management of cancer pain

Prof Nathan Cherny presents results from The International Collaborative Project to evaluate the availability and accessibility of opioids for the management of cancer pain

The Prague Congress has been striking in its breadth and impact. I have attended lectures, discussions, presentations and videos with topics ranging from the ethics of euthanasia to the gifts of grief; from technological advances in pain management to the importance of ensuring basic access to morphine; from the inclusion of spirituality in palliative care to the inclusion of palliative care in public health; and from dealing with dementia to dealing with patients who have external cardiac defibrillators. Some sessions have been eye opening, some reconfirming, some humbling, some gut wrenching, and some grounding.  I have shed a few tears with my colleagues, but also a few giggles. I have been stunned by the scope of research – not only in the extent of topics covered, but also in the number of countries represented. And, most importantly, I have been struck by the other conference attendees. Perhaps the most memorable moments will be those passed during the coffee breaks, hashing out the impact that the flood of information will have on our individual practices, sorting out what we will take home with us, interpreting and incorporating the dilemmas into our own daily approaches to palliative care.

Memorable moments in coffee breaks: delegates from Cameroon and France talking to plenary speaker, Prof René Schaerer, and Amelia Giordano from EAPC head office

Memorable moments in coffee breaks: delegates from Cameroon and France talking to plenary speaker, Prof René Schaerer, and Amelia Giordano from EAPC head office

Stepping away from my clinical practice into a world of research and discussion has been enlightening. But the power of the information learned has been equalled only by the power of being surrounded by so many individuals who share a common passion, heightened by the presence of a myriad of backgrounds. The interdisciplinary emphasis on communication that exists at my hospice is taken to a new level and new importance here, amidst 2,000+ attendees from dozens of countries and a wide variety of professions. I feel privileged to have participated in such a gathering, and look forward to bringing at least a couple of pearls from this sea of wisdom back to my colleagues at home.

I offer my sincere thanks for an excellent experience, especially to all of you who spent countless hours making this weekend not only possible, but also incredible.

Find out more…

  • PowerPoint presentations from the 13th EAPC World Congress will soon be available to view on the EAPC website. Please follow the Blog, Facebook,  and Twitter @EAPCOnlus feeds for further announcements.  
  • The 8th EAPC World Research Congress will be held in Lleida, near Barcelona, Spain on 5-7 June 2014.
  • The 14th World Congress of the EAPC: Building Bridges will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 8-10 May 2015.

Coming up…
We’ll be publishing more stories from the Prague Congress during the next days and weeks.

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3 Responses to Memorable moments: the 13th EAPC World Congress

  1. Dear Doctor Corinne Cohen Peimer
    ‘The power of being surrounded by so many individuals who share a common passion’ is the heart and soul of our researches and studies, converted into best practice. Our common passion is Being-That- In-Presence for all Those Suffering their Pain. Being the In-Presence for EveryChild and EveryMan Who suffers his pain means to live with them their very private world, and share with them the bitter cake of their great pain. Our common passion takes us to look within the Pain, and Pain asks for this In-Presence urgently, second-by-second. Dear Doctor Corinne, my field of research is the PreverbalPediatricOncology in the Non-PharmacologicalCare.
    All my studies and researches are in Memory of my Little Nephew, Giampaolo, who died at 19 months, on the 17th October 2010. The common passion is the great and precious Consciousness of Caring-Cradling-and-Loving all the Patients in Pain.
    My best regards to You
    Luisella Magnani http://www.luisellamagnani.it

  2. Dear Doctor Corinne Cohen Peimer
    ‘The power of being surrounded by so many individuals who share a common passion’ is the heart, soul and body of our researches. The common passion is that In-Presence. That Being within EachPatient’s very private world. EveryChild and EveryMan in Pain. The common passion is the great and precious consciousness to Care-Cradle-and-Love. Simultaneously. My studies and researches are focused on PreverbalPediatricOncology, the Non-PharmacologicalCare. These studies are in Memory of my Little Nephew Giampaolo, Who died at 19 months, on the 17th October 2010. Studies devoted to all the PreverbalChildren in Pain, in Italy, in Europe and in the World.
    Luisella Magnani

  3. Pingback: Memorable moments: the 13th EAPC World Congress | EAPC Blog | All Things Palliative - Article Feed

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