Health

Interview with Dr. Iván Gelenchev, resident of Community Medicine

Dr.-Ivan-Gelenchev

..Drafting.
40 Young Professionals.
The Dr. Ivan Gelenchev, also known as @muymedico, is a resident of Family and Community Medicine at the Francesc de Borja University Hospital. As a student, he began sharing medical illustrations on his Instagram account and currently has a community of almost 200,000 followers. Now, as a resident doctor, he proudly shares what day-to-day is like in a primary care consultation, aware of the difficult situation his specialty faces, but willing to do his best to
renew and improve it.

What are the main problems you are currently facing as a primary care doctor?
Family and community medicine is a precious specialty. It is very enriching on a professional and personal level, but today our main problem is the care overload and the lack of resources, both material and human. Although the pressure caused by the pandemic and the arrival of SARS-CoV-2 has decreased, a fairly significant level of saturation in primary care services still persists. In addition, this saturation is shifting the excess load to the emergency services, which often receive patients who should be treated in ordinary consultations but who cannot access or have to wait too long.

doWhat aspects should be resolved as a priority?
It is essential to invest in means to improve primary care. And I mean both technical and human doctors. It is clear that primary care suffers from a constant shortage of resources and professionals, although, personally, I believe that the solution is not to hire general practitioners without MIR. We must ensure the quality of care in primary care services and for this it is important that doctors have the corresponding training in family and community medicine. In addition, and going back to the problem I mentioned before, an improvement in the access and operation of primary care would have positive repercussions when it comes to relieving the pressure on our emergency services.

Dr. Iván Gelenchev: «Family medicine is very enriching on a professional and personal level»

How do you see your professional situation in 10 years?
I am confident that the situation of the health system in general and of primary care in particular will improve in the next 10 years. I trust and believe that the future will be prosperous, partly thanks to the new generations of family doctors, who will give primary care a different approach from that of our predecessors.

What should the health system of the future look like?
In my opinion, the health system of the future should be public, universal and free. In addition, I consider it important that face-to-face patient care continues to be maintained and improved.

Can the impact of Covid-19 be used to redesign the health system?
Covid-19 has exposed the weak points of a system whose resources have been cut for years. Of course, I believe that it is an opportunity to, at least, know where it is necessary to reinforce it and amend the mistakes of the past. What I’m not so sure about is whether we’re taking advantage of it.

Our main problem is the care overload and the lack of resources, both material and human

How did your journey with social networks begin?
About four years ago, when I was still in college, I decided to open an Instagram account to upload outlines and summaries of my course notes. People liked it and I started to get a lot of followers. Now with the residence I have less time. I continue to share content related to medicine, with some dose of humor or claim, I share my day to day as a doctor, etc. I like to stay in touch with my little Instagram community after so many years.

How important is social media for your profession?
Social networks can be a double-edged sword. As a professional they bring you many benefits, especially contacts and recognition by society. They are a very useful tool to develop professionally and make your work known. But, on the other hand, there are people to whom the networks seem somewhat banal, superficial, unserious, and can harm your image as a doctor. In any case, it is important to differentiate social networks from real life, and be aware that what is seen on them does not always correspond to reality. This goes for me and for anyone in any other profession.

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