I am heading for the explicitly international perspective of the ‘Clinical Academic Careers’ meeting in Dublin tomorrow, which is part of this year’s SAPC conference. I'll be commenting in my capacity as President-Elect of the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA). Let’s leave aside my sense of irony and grief that I shall be doing this as a little Englander whose country thinks it can manage alone – and will probably have to....I am writing this as a citizen of the world, where the professional networks of doctors, researchers, and scientists can span borders and bring fruitful ideas to deliver better care for our peoples. ...continue reading →
Emma Wallace is a Senior Clinical Research fellow in the Health Research Board (HRB) Centre for Primary Care Research at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) Medical school
This week, the Society of Academic Primary Care (SAPC) conference is being hosted by the Department of General Practice, of the RCSI, in Dublin. As part of the organising committee for the conference I am very much looking forward to welcoming primary care researchers from all over the world to Dublin to partake in what is sure to be a stimulating and diverse programme. In parallel to the conference, a clinical academic career in Family Medicine/General Practice (GP) meeting will take place to share international experiences and best practice with attendees from Sweden, Canada, the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland. In anticipation of this meeting, I will share some of my own experiences and reflections as a GP undertaking structured PhD training in Ireland ...continue reading →
In 2009, the Swedish Research Council (SRC) advertised funding for five research schools (SEK 15 million each, about CAD 2,5 million). One of these was in General Practice. All universities competed but Umeå University received the grant for 2010-14/15, after having formed a network with Gothenburg and Linköping universities. ...continue reading →
As a career offering diverse experiences, challenge and intense satisfaction, academic family practice surely cannot be beat. Many of us may have begun our academic practice early in our career, particularly those of us who were biomedical clinicians-scientists. However, for me the journey to a full academic career, as maybe more typical for family practice clinician scientists, developed over several decades.
Tom Fahey is Professor of General Practice in The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and a general practitioner in Dublin, Ireland
In late 2015 I was fortunate to be awarded a James M. Flaherty visiting professorship from the Ireland Canada University Foundation (ICUF). The purpose of this award is to enable academic exchange between Canada and Ireland. Earlier this year I visited the Universities of Ottawa, Toronto and British Columbia and also met with the editorial team of the CMAJ. In the latter part of my visit I met with Dr. Wendy Norman, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Chair ...continue reading →
Liz Sturgiss is a lecturer at the Academic Unit of General Practice of the Australian National University
I faced attending PHCRIS this year with some trepidation. I'll admit that, as a (very) early career GP researcher, the recent months of de-funding announcements have filled me with disappointment. Have I chosen a career path worth pursuing? Is this a valuable way to spend the next 30 years of my working life?
I'm pleased to say I've been left with a feeling of great hope having been inspired by my primary healthcare research mentors and leaders.
Grant Russell, newly elected for a second term as President of the Australasia Association of Academic Primary Care (AAAPC) was upbeat in his introduction to the second day of the meeting. He reminded us how the Canadian academic, Martin Bass, had warned against learned helplessness and he pointed out that primary care has much more influence than we give ourselves credit for.
Claire Jackson, one of Australia’s leading primary care researchers was introduced at her plenary lecture as “an eternal optimist”. True to form, she told us that there has never been a more exciting time to be in primary care research. She listed the national primary health care strategy, the primary care framework, and the 31 primary health networks. While there have been numerous health care reforms, each one has primary care at its centre and there is growing government awareness of the need to address complex chronic illness in community. ...continue reading →
Dr Grant Russell is a family physician, Head of School of Primary Health Care, and Professor of General Practice Research at Monash University in Melbourne Australia.
Every few months, someone writes about the parlous state of academic primary care. It was Domhnall MacAuley’s turn a few months ago, as he lamented that academic Family Medicine Departments lack direction, that there was no market for traditional GP research and the academic GP community is getting more and more distant from the patient and from their clinical colleagues. Domhnall’s concerns extended beyond the walls of the university – suggesting that, across general practice the “concept of personal, primary and continuing care exists only in memory”.
Anxiety about the future of the discipline of family medicine is not new. I remember 25 years ago telling an esteemed GP I was thinking about becoming a family physician, only for the celebrated old doctor to say, “I don't know why you want to – see, general practice is finished.” Others have written, and often, about the state of family medicine since the term first began to be used in the 1940s. Underlying all of this are questions of security – “Are we good enough?” “Do we fit?” “Does anyone listen to us?” ...continue reading →
High quality primary health care (PHC) research is a powerful community resource. Strengthened and contextualised with insights and expertise from policy makers, practitioners and consumers, it informs improvements in the frontline of the health system.
Question: How to increase that power? How can we better routinely inform, access and utilise quality research?
One Answer: Bring research users and researchers face-to-face for deliberative dialogue, debate and discussion. After all, we know that we can only really make a difference when people work with people to share real-world, as well as research, knowledge and skills.
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 →