Continuing professional development (CPD) is a continuing learning process that enables doctors to maintain and improve their performance across all areas of their professional work. It is a key part of revalidation. According to the Royal Society of Physicians, doctors are required to undertake a minimum average of 50 hours of CPD per year, documented as one-hour credits. A minimum of 25 of these must be external (category 1) credits, where the learning takes place with others outside the place of employment. For many consultants, attending at least one annual geriatric conference has been a crucial part of their ongoing education.

For healthcare professionals with an interest in care of the older patient, the ageing population means that they need to stay up to date in a very changing field.

According to the British Geriatrics Society, geriatrics is the branch of general medicine concerned with the clinical, preventative, remedial and social aspects of illness in old age. The challenges of frailty, complex comorbidity, different patterns of disease presentation, slower response to treatment and requirements for interdisciplinary support call for specialist medical skills.

Geriatrics is the medical specialty that provides those specialist skills, as recognised by the GMC. All geriatricians have core general medicine training: most are certified general medicine specialists.

To help elderly care physicians stay ahead of the game, GM Journal is holding another one-day conference. Taking place at the Royal Society of Medicine in October, this year's theme is on common diseases.

The topics to be presented include:

•     Hypertension and QoF targets

•     Common skin conditions

•     Osteoporosis: the way ahead

•     Urinary incontinence and quality of life

•     Cerebrovascular disease

•     New advances in diabetes management

•     Neuropsychiatric aspects of PD.

The GM conference also aims to update physicians on medical advances, latest guidelines and to review methods of improving the quality of life of ageing patients. Delegates also have the opportunity to network and spend time with peers at a conference.

In addition, the GM conference is the perfect opportunity to have your questions answered about various topics relating to care of the older patient. A panel debate will take place at the end of the day where you can debate any burning issues with leaders in their field.

This one-day event is worth six CPD points and further details are available at www.gmjournal.co.uk.