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7th International Clinical Skills Conference in Prato, Italy

A few A380s, and a few trains, and I was in Prato in the Tuscany region of Italy. Prato is a small city, with a beautiful historic centre and a vibrant cultural life surrounded by turreted walls dating back to the 12th century. Prato is just a 20 minute train ride from inspiring Florence.


The highlight of the conference was the dinner held at Villa Corsini.
The highlight of the conference was the dinner held at Villa Corsini.

The conference was held in the Monash Prato Centre in an elegant 18th century building, the Palazzo Vaj, in the historic centre of Prato. The conference was attended primarily by medical practitioners and nurses with a smattering of allied health practitioners; all of whom were passionate about teaching healthcare students either at university or in clinical practice after graduation.

With only 400 attendees it was easy to meet (and more importantly re-meet) people with common research interests. Keynote and workshop topics covered threshold concepts, intentional communication via the phone, feedback, professional skills, empathy, simulation, clinical debriefing, the hidden curriculum and more – all falling under the conference theme of ‘transition’.

I presented my PhD findings (in 12 minutes) in a paper titled ‘The influence of supervision, patients, and reflective practice on therapy student’s emotional intelligence during clinical placements’. My paper was awarded Best Oral Presentation, and I was pleased the topic of emotional intelligence resonated with the medicos and nurses in the room.

The highlight of the conference was the dinner held at Villa Corsini, a 16th century villa in the quintessential Tuscany hills. Food, wine, views and company were magnificent. I highly recommend this conference, which is held in Prato every two years, to anyone interested in meeting people passionate about educating healthcare professionals, or anyone who loves Tuscany!

Nigel Gribble, Lecturer