GPCE 2015

In 2015 APF focused on GP education.  We attended GPCE, General Practitioner Conference and Exhibition, in 4 state locations around Australia.  The conferences also included PNCE - Practice Nurse Clinical Education - running alongside the GPCE, affording us the opportunity to educate and inform specialist nurses as well.

Our theme for this event was "Could it be the Pituitary? - The Master Gland", aiming to inform and educate GP's about early detection of pituitary conditions, and how many pituitary symptoms, at times, mimic other problems. 

Information Stall GPCE

The enormous effort to organise these educational events for GP's were well worth it!! Although "walk by" traffic was not as high as we hoped at our display booths, the workshops were a huge success!!  All workshops were extremely popular and filled to capacity!!

Information Sessions GPCE

On speaking with GPs we list a couple of observations:

  • GPs think that pituitary tests are expensive to run
  • Because some endocrine and other symptoms are common, they run the more common tests first eg. Thyroid function as a singular test, rather than a full pituitary work up
  • The likely hood of coming across a pituitary disorder is very low, so they don’t think it a priority to run the tests

Thank you so very much to our wonderful doctors who presented for us –how could we do this without you!!!!

Comments received from attendees:

“From my perspective having a stall there to draw attention to Pituitary disorders was a really great idea”

“The workshop was perfect for GP's- interesting cases that showed the diagnostic dilemmas we face with patients presenting
  with non-specific symptoms and the difficulties we might have in interpreting hormone levels

“The case studies gave us a good framework to assist in future diagnosis and appropriate management / referrals”

 “Good talk. First one I have been to on this important area"

“Well delivered well explained presentation of rare but not to be missed conditions”
“Lots of detail on slides, needed to stay completely in focus”
“Confident presentation really important to my practice”
“It was a very good presentation. I think I will have to read the books that came with the talk, because it was just a bit too
  much to cram into 1 hour. But the content was all relevant”



APF was so excited to receive a phone call from a GP who attended one of our lectures, to state he had just diagnosed a patient with Acromegaly, and where was he to go from there.  An Endocrinologist of course!!!   

Also a big than you to our sponsors.


GPCE - Perth

GPCE logo




APF attended the General Practitioner Conference & Exhibition (GPCE) in Perth on 25th & 26th July.


David Hurley Lecture WA GPCEPete and David Hurley at GPCE Stand

Dr David Hurley presented on both days.  Once again we had a full room of attendees on the Saturday and on the Sunday.

Perth was a smaller audience, though we found the interest in visiting our stand better than the Sydney GPCE.  So many GPs and practice nurses saw us there.  Pete loved sharing his experience of living with and treating Acromegaly, including his successful treatment, by clinical trial, with Pegvisomant, which is currently not available in Australia.


Some-one asked us how we measure the level of success of attendance at these conferences.  We do not sell merchandise, nor do we sell services – there is no financial gain to us.  HOWEVER, there is a huge gain in the community when GPs have a greater awareness of pituitary conditions.  APF was so excited to receive a phone call from a GP in Perth a week later, who stated he had just diagnosed a patient with Acromegaly, and where was he to go from there.  An Endocrinologist of course!!!


Apart from pituitary tumours, Dr Hurley effectively delivered information on hormone deficiencies and treatments, which we are sure will assist GPs in managing their existing and future patients, including children.


 Nick Wolf and Pete Portrait Pic Nick and Pete

Nicholas Wolf from Reed Medical Services GPCE visiting the APF stand


Thanks to our sponsors which funded our attendance at this event .

               


GPCE Brisbane

               

The Brisbane GPCE has just concluded and APF happily supplied 3 free delegates passes to two GPs and one Practice Nurse.

We were fortunate to have Dr Viral Chikani present for us on all three days.

                

Dr. Viral Chikani

FRACP, MBBS / Endocrinologist and PhD Candidate

Staff specialist at Princess Alexandra Hospital and has a private practice in Spring Hill.  He undertook specialist training in endocrinology at Princess Alexandra Hospital and Gold Coast University Hospital. 

His research and clinical interests are pituitary disorders and energy metabolism. He is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Queensland investigating growth hormone effects on physical function and exercise capacity.
Dr Viral Chikani and Beth Killeen APF

The workshops, again, were well attended and our literature was well received.  Plenty of people dropped by our stall and complimented us on the work we do. Some-one asked us how we measure the level of success of attendance at these conferences.  We do not sell merchandise, nor do we sell services – there is no financial gain to us.  BUT, there is a huge gain in the community when GPs have a greater awareness of pituitary conditions.  

APF was so excited to receive a phone call from a GP who attended one of our lectures, to state he had just diagnosed a patient with Acromegaly, and where was he to go from there.  An Endocrinologist of course!!!   


The exhibitions varied in Brisbane with some new stalls – one of which was the Cancer Council QLD which Sue Kozij visited.  Did you know that Cancer Council Qld has an excellent Brain Tumour Support Service.  Don’t be fooled by the word “cancer” and think you cannot be included.  The Service provides for those with benign tumours and recognises how dangerous they can be if not managed well or treated successfully.    Anne-Marie and Sue go way back, with Anne-Marie being instrumental as a support service while Sue was being diagnosed nearly 19 years ago!

Thanks to our sponsors which funded our attendance at this event .

               




Adelaide 2014

Pituitary Disease – all the latest for GP’s

Once again the APF was very pleased to provide a quality program on the pituitary gland at the Tennyson Centre, Kurralta Park (Adelaide) in South Australia, care of GP Partners Australia. The objective was to educate GP’s and Allied Health members in recognising the patient in primary care, with a view to an earlier diagnosis.

Endocrinologist, Dr Peak Mann Mah, from Lyell McEwan Hospital, made a presentation that was a very comprehensive overview of the vital role the pituitary gland plays and the importance of early detection. Topics covered were; 

Dr Peak Mann Mah
recognising symptoms of pituitary disease, key treatment strategies for pituitary disease and current long term management of pituitary diseases. 

Dr Mah presented a number of case studies which prompted a considerable interest and many questions from the audience, and was supported by two APF Volunteers whose presentations were; Acromegaly diagnosis, and complete hormone replacement management in Panhypopituitarism, from patients' perspectives.

A very successful outcome was achieved which was demonstrated by the 42 very interested and enthusiastic local health care providers who attended.

Bendigo 2014

Multi Disciplinary Care of the Pituitary Patient

On the evening of 9th September 2014 the APF held a GP Educational Seminar at the Lodden Mallee Murray Medicare Locals rooms in Bendigo Victoria, which was extremely well attended.  The objective was to educate GP’s and Allied Health members in recognising the patient in primary care, with a view to an earlier diagnosis.


Endocrinologist Dr Carmelo Caputo made presented valuable information and insight on the importance of the GP in the pituitary patient, from diagnosis to longer term care.  This included recognising when to screen for pituitary diseases, the appropriate tests to order, when to refer and to whom. 



Dr Carmelo Caputo and 
Mr Yi Yuen Wang
Neurosurgeon Mr Yi Yuen Wang delivered information on the role of the pituitary neurosurgeon specifically.Both presenters recognised the importance of the GP in the multidisciplinary care of pituitary patients in the short and long term. 

They were also supported by two APF Volunteers who made presentations on Acromegaly diagnosis & complete hormone replacement management in Panhypopituitarism from a patient’s perspective.

A very successful out come was achieved and it appeared that our“country” medico’s could not get enough of the education the APF had to offer,as was evidenced by many of the participants being willing to stay a little late to have all their questions answered.

Wagga Wagga 2013

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We had a great turn out at the patient seminar in Wagga on Saturday 4th May, 2013.  I am sure that all there sincerely appreciated having Dr. Ann McCormack, from the Garvan Institute and Dr. Mary Freeman travel from Sydney to present for them. Dr. Mary Freeman is a visiting Endocrinologist and has a permanent clinic there.  
    

Some patients travelled up to 3 hrs from further regional areas surrounding Wagga. This was also a great opportunity to finally meet, face to face, some of our members who we have been involved with.   

A little advertising before the event encouraged the local paper, Daily Advertiser, to arrive on the day to interview one of our local members, Daryl and Dr. Freeman. The editorial looked great with a small number of us having a photograph appear, along with some information about the pituitary and Australian Pituitary Foundation.

Darwin 2013

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This event was held at the Travelodge in Darwin on Friday evening, 10th July, 2013.  Interest and attendance was beyond our expectations for a smaller population with 24 local doctors and nurses attending. Assoc. Prof. Warrick Inder, from Princess Alexandra presented for us on “recognising the patient in primary care” and “long term follow up”.  


Cristel, originally from Darwin, told of per personal story of the difficulties and frustration of trying to find a reason for all her debilitating symptoms, ending with a personal thank you to the Endocrinologist who “picked it straight off”. Sue also spoke of a long diagnosis time, and the fact that her conditions was cyclicable (meaning the blood tests were normal and not normal at other times) also mentioning that she knew from the signals from her body that the condition had returned before getting results from blood tests. Both women encouraged doctors to listen to their patients, and Assoc. Prof. Inder re-enforced that opinion in his presentation.


Dr Michael Nixon (NT Remote Health), Sue Kozij, Dr Warrick Inder, Dr AnnieWhybourne (Paediatrician), Cristel Woelfel, Dr Barbara Bauert (Public Health Physician)

Everyone enjoyed it so much they remained seated on conclusion for a relaxed question and answer setting.  On arrival while welcoming guests a question was asked by an attendee: “What one most profound symptom would inspire me to run those expensive tests?” The answer?  “Usually you need to identify a cluster of symptoms, and one of the most profound symptoms for many is very common – fatigue.” After a quick chat with Dr Inder he then included in his presentation that it was a misconception that pituitary tests were expensive.

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