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Doctors as volunteers poster competition

Do you do voluntary work within the health profession?

With an increasing interest around voluntary activities among a variety of health sector organisations, the BMA is building an evidence base on the benefits of medical volunteering within the UK and in resource-poor settings.

In 2014 we launched a poster competition, Doctors as volunteers, to:

  • Promote the positive values of volunteering within the health profession
  • Recognise the voluntary effort that contributes to health and wellbeing, and to public health and care services in the UK and abroad
  • Embed a deeper understanding of volunteering and its benefits across all of health, public health and social care.


The poster competition 

Two cash prizes of £850 each will be awarded to the winning entries of the poster competition. The cash prize will be awarded to the charity involved in the project rather than the individual.

All shortlisted posters will be judged by a reviewing committee in early May 2019 and the overall two winners of the competition will be informed at this time.

The prizes will be presented to the winning poster presenters at the BMA awards ceremony and installation of the president at 6pm on Tuesday 25 June 2019 at the ICC Belfast, 2 Lanyon Place, Belfast, BT1 3WH.

It is not necessary for the poster presenters to attend the meeting and in their absence their poster will be displayed on their behalf.

How to enter

To take part in the 2019 competition, please submit an abstract highlighting the work done:

  • Deadline for receipt of abstracts is Friday 18 January 2019.
  • As an individual doctor you may wish to submit abstracts highlighting the voluntary projects you have been or are involved in, either in the UK or internationally, and how you benefitted from your involvement in these projects.
  • Organisations may also wish to submit abstracts illustrating the work they do and the projects they run in the UK and abroad, and how doctors may get involved in these ventures.
  • Abstracts should only be submitted that highlight examples of voluntary work undertaken within the last two years
  • For each submission, please identify a corresponding author who will be the point of contact
  • Your abstract should be submitted and presented in the conference language (English)
  • Not exceed the maximum word limit (400 words)

Submit abstract form 


Review of submissions:

All abstracts submitted will be reviewed by a reviewing committee. Authors will be notified in writing of the result of their abstract submission by Friday 15 February 2019.

All accepted posters will be displayed at the BMA’s annual representative meeting (ARM*) exhibition in Belfast from Sunday 23 June to Thursday 27 June 2019.

*The ARM is the BMA’s main policy-making body with around 500 doctors - representing all parts of the profession and from across the UK - gathering to consider and debate key matters of interest to doctors and the medical profession.


Message from the BMA representative body chair

Anthea Mowat, representative body chair

Doctors practising in the UK today face unprecedented pressures from all sides, challenging them to think creatively and show resilience in the face of a changing NHS to deliver the best care for their patients. For some doctors, the challenge does not end at the clinic door – it extends to across the UK and the globe, wherever the health needs of vulnerable people go unmet. The altruistic endeavours of doctors who volunteer have lifelong impacts – on their careers and personal motivations, and on the individuals and communities they serve. These experiences instil in them the skills and attributes needed to lead the NHS and see it thrive into the future.

We, the BMA, want to take this opportunity to share the inspiring stories doctors who go above and beyond to share their skills and expertise with those most in need, irrespective of national borders. I am therefore delighted to announce the opening of the doctors as volunteers 2019 ARM poster competition!


Quotes from 2017 winners

‘Stepping outside of my comfort zone to work in Zanzibar has given me so much more confidence clinically, and also a renewed belief in the importance of frontline staff - at all levels - contributing to Quality Improvement projects.’

Dr Bryony Hopkinshaw

‘At the foodbank I put my skills and knowledge to use, directly helping those in crisis. I feel useful and connected to my community. At a time of austerity and uncertainty, the foodbank is a beacon of hope not only for clients, but for volunteers too.’

Dr Laura-Jane Smith


For further information please contact BMA conferences on 0207 383 6137 or email [email protected]




2017 submissions

  • Africa

    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantAdam Ali 

    Doctors for all: Project Somaliland
    Adam Ali


    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantShuang Wang 

    Implementing the first hospital malnutrition clinic in Zanzibar
    Shuang Wang


    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantClive Quick 

    Improving the standard of operative surgery in sub-Saharan Africa
    Clive Quick


    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantTamryn Miller 

    Mercy Ships - Bringing hope & healing to africa
    Tamryn Miller


    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantMeg Collington 

    Paediatric Oncology Training in Ghana
    Meg Collington


    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantClaire Marletta 

    Volunteering in the "Warm heart of Africa"
    Claire Marletta


  • Europe

    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantIryna Rybinkina 

    Getting SMART about trauma in Ukraine
    Iryna Rybinkina


    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantMarie Broyde 

    Mobile clinic handbook (Slovania-Austria)
    Marie Broyde


  • South Asia

    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantJames Chidgey 

    Audit and quality improvement projects in a Rural Hospital in Nepal
    James Chidgey


    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantAhamodur Choudhury 

    Tomorrow's doctors supporting tomorrow's health (Bangladesh)
    Ahamodur Choudhury


    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantNaomi Ward 

    Volunteering in Rural Nepal
    Naomi Ward


    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantDaniel Day 

    Volunteering with the Himalayan Rescue Association, Nepal
    Daniel Dey


  • United Kingdom

    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantCauvery Pal 

    Dreamflight volunteer paediatricians: Giving children the holiday of a lifetime
    Cauvery Pal


    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantClaire Strauss 

    Over the wall: My time in the camp bubble
    Claire Strauss


    ARM 2017 poster, competition entrantLesley Kavi 

    When good can come of ill health
    Lesley Kavi


  • Contact us

    For more information please contact BMA conferences.

    Tel: 0207 383 6605/6819

    Email: [email protected]