By JEFFARAH GIBSON Tribune Features Writer THE Medical Association of the Bahamas held its 40th annual Scientific Conference under the theme "Current Trends in Health Care: A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats". The conference culminated last week Friday at the British Colonial Hilton. "The conference continues to focus on the prevalence and impact of both our communicable and non-communicable diseases. State of the art diagnosis treatments are emphasised always. The local challenges and the need to find tangible and practical solutions are underlined as well," said Dr Hubert Minnis, Minister of Health. The CR Walker Memorial Lecture was delivered this year by Bain Town Member of Parliament Dr Bernard Nottage, who reflected on his journey in the medical industry and the political arena since 1974. During his speech Dr Nottage encouraged physicians to get in touch with the community and the social conditions their patients have to cope with. "You cannot be a practicing physician and not be aware of the social conditions your patients have to deal with. Have doctors grown so apart from their communities that they do not know what social conditions their patients have to face," said Dr Nottage. His presentation was one of two keynote sessions. The public lecture, which opened the conference, was the other highlight event. Dr Maureen Samms-Vaughn, a professor of Pediatrics and Child Development and Behaviour in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of West Indies, Mona, delivered the public lecture on, "The Silent Epidemic in the Caribbean: The Impact of Violence and Crime on Our Children". "We saw from the public lecture on the opening night, the problems of crime and violence faced by societies worldwide and its impact not only on our societies, but especially our children. It is a trend we must stop and reverse," said Dr Timothy Barrett, outgoing president of the Bahamas Medical Association. "The trend I would like to see established and maintained is the trend towards compassion, and care and concern for human beings. That we are assessing, treating, and being cognizant of their cares and concerns," said Dr Barrett. Local and international doctors and medical researchers led a number of other sessions during the three day conference, covering topics, such as Laser Surgery for Presbyopia, Laparoscopic Colectomy, Touchfree Surgery for Congenital Heart Disease, Renal Artery Denervation for Hypertension and Diagnosing HPV. The Medical Association of the Bahamas was formed in the early 1950's when a group of doctors came together to protect their interest. Ever since, the association has encouraged a high standard of medical practice, ethics, and conduct to improve professionalism amongst its members.