Layla McCay on making junior doctors agents for change

We can’t wait to hear from a NASA astronaut and doctor. James Bagian is coming over from the US specially to speak at our conference, Junior Doctors: Agents for Change, on 1 June. He’s currently the Director of the National Center for Patient Safety at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and everyone who has heard him speak has said he is fantastic.

We’ve lined up a whole host of really great speakers including Fiona Godlee (BMJ Editor), Bruce Keogh (NHS medical director), Sir Liam Donaldson (Chief Medical Officer), and Kevin Cleary (National Patient Safety Agency Medical Director), among others. It’s not every day that there’s a free conference specifically for junior doctors featuring this sort of cast list, and we’re hoping it will inspire and educate junior doctors to get actively involved in improving the safety and quality of the patient care we deliver.

Hopefully the fact that junior doctors are having such an input into the conference will make it particularly interesting for us, and we hope that people will enjoy the combination of keynote speakers, panel discussion, breakout exercises, and interactive voting. This event will give the opportunity for junior doctors to feed back directly to the NHS Medical Director about what’s going on in the NHS and how we could make it better to give our patients better care.

The conference is based on the idea that junior doctors are the ideal viral change agents in healthcare, with the potential to spread healthcare improvement around the NHS. This conference will give people the opportunity to find out how and why.

There’s a real buzz about this event at the moment. When we log in to our usual trainee email groups and message boards, we find the conference being discussed with enthusiasm. When we spoke at the Patient Safety Congress about it last week, the flyers were snatched from our hands in seconds.

Junior Doctors: Agents for Change takes place on Monday 1st June from 10am-4pm a the London Hilton Metropole Edgware Road. Attendance is free (though places are strictly limited, so apply now) and includes lunch and an attendance certificate. You can register at .

Layla McCay is Clinical Advisor to Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director, Department of Health, London.