Sir Denis Pereira Gray, OBE, is a consultant at St Leonard’s Research Practice, Exeter, and Emeritus Professor at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom
A few weeks ago a blog by Domhnall MacAuley picked up on an article that I had written in the British Journal of General Practice, entitled “Academic general practice: a viewpoint on achievements and challenges.” The article was written to ask some big questions and to stimulate debate about academic general practice and Domhnall's blog followed it up interestingly and extended the issues.
I am still optimistic about academic general practice. General practice is the key branch of the medical profession and there are still many aspects of it to be discovered. Yes of course “big data” are a new resource and need new techniques, but a place remains for clinical research in general practice and in single research active general practices too. However, the relationships and the support for research in clinical settings need clarification and funding. The prime role of single practice research is to study new clinical developments, to scope their potential, and pave the way for bigger definitive studies. Single practices do have the numbers for statistical significance if they choose their subject ...continue reading