John Macleod Oration
Dr John Macleod was a rural family doctor and founding member of the WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice. John and his parents before him provided family medicine care to the people of Hebridean island of North Uist for 77 years. To honour his outstanding contribution to rural health, the WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice initiated the John Macleod Oration as a feature plenary address at WONCA World Rural Health Conferences.
Speakers are selected by the Wonca Working Party on Rural Practice as an acknowledgement of the significant contribution they have made to developing Heath for All Rural people.The inaugral orator was Prof Ian Couper ( South Aftrica ) in 2012.
Prof Dora Bernal is a Medical Specialist in Family Medicine, and Professor of the Department of Family Medicine Universidad del Valle, Calli, Colombia.
She says she “loves to dance; Cali is the world capital of salsa so we carry dance and salsa in our DNA.”
She was brought up and lives in a rural community near Calli and considers herself “a peasant and proud of it.”
“Growing up in an area like this, my customs since I was a child were totally different from those of my other classmates and it continues to be so. I prefer the countryside, its sounds, its simplicity, the colors and the sky.
“Her work at in family medicine and at the University has focused on the marginalised from both rural and urban communities, and her belief in the importance of solidarity has led her to belong many trade union groups that try to promote the rights of professionals and individuals.
She says her “particular interest in rural medicine is genuine from the experience of my personal history, the precariousness of many rural environments, the different sources of health and disease in some of these environments, the different beliefs and many other factors that are captivating and attractive. in addition to the need to preserve the environment.”
In the John McLeod Oration Prof Bernal will share some of her work and that of colleagues from across South America and inspire us all.
Prof Bernal is the Vice President Andean Region Ibero-American Confederation of Family Medicine CIMF. Past President of the Colombian Society of Family Medicine SOCMEF and a Member of the Statutes Committee and Organisational Equity Committee of the WONCA World College of Family Physicians.