Annalisa Montesanti is a Programme Manager at Ireland's Health Research Board
Health research, and its knowledge application and translation towards more tangible impacts, requires the talent, expertise and ingenuity of a wide range of people. The challenge for a health research funding organisation is how to efficiently build research capacity in a collaborative manner across clinicians and other health professionals, scientists, social scientists, epidemiologists, health economists, statisticians, engineers, policy-makers, decision-makers, patient groups, public groups, and others. ...continue reading →
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 →
Domhnall MacAuleyis a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK
One of the best pieces of research with which I was involved was rejected by The BMJ when I was one of its medical editors. A qualitative study. it was exciting and innovative and it gave some remarkable insights into genetic medicine - or so I thought. I don’t know quite why it was rejected. Research submitted by members of the editorial team was assessed outside the normal process so I didn’t have access to the notes and it was never discussed with me. I published other studies in The BMJ both before and afterwards, but that paper was special and (many years afterwards) I still feel they made a mistake…but, every author thinks that, don’t they?! ...continue reading →
Jacquelyn Cragg is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and University of British Columbia.
John Kramer is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia
In January and February of this year, health researchers across Canada are ramping up grant writing ahead of the 2016 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Project Scheme deadline. As with all grant applications, these researchers (applicants and co-applicants, and their respective trainees) will be meticulously preparing their curriculum vitaes (CVs), in order to showcase the success of their research activities. A cornerstone for federal governmental granting dollars since 2002, this wave of self-publicity will pivotally involve preparing a Canadian Common CV (CCV). ...continue reading →
Kirsten Patrick is Deputy Editor at CMAJ; she's currently attending the 31st International Conference on PharmacoEpidemiology &Therapeutic Risk Management (ICPE) in Boston
About a year ago I suggested "Big Medical Data" as a potential topic for a CMAJ editorial to our editors’ writing group. I remember receiving some blank looks that sounded a lot like “Weirdo!” In fact, that may well have been upon my return from the last ICPE, or perhaps it was a year before that when I came back from participating in the working group that produced The REporting of Studies Conducted Using Observational Routinely-Collected Health Data (RECORD) Statement. Anyway, there’s something about talking to people who are working with, and developing new ways of crunching, Big Data that gets me all fired up about it. I can see an exciting future full of possibilities and I want to evangelize.
In the first plenary session at ICPE yesterday, entitled “Computer Power and Human Reason: from calculation to judgement”, speakers seemed to be defending the role of the pharmacoepidemiologist now that crunching data with computer programs can tell us just about anything we need to know. What are the virtues of the human operator vs. computer systems? “Is it the pilot or the plane that’s critical for a successful flight?” ...continue reading →
Health research involving people in marginalized populations can be challenging, and recruitment is often difficult. One approach, respondent-driven sampling, takes advantage of connections between people in these groups, who recruit each other in a chain-referral (friend of a friend) manner. In this interview, Dr. Ann Jolly, Associate Professor in the School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the University of Ottawa, discusses the importance of reaching these marginalized populations. Dr. Jolly and colleagues published an analysis article in CMAJ (subscription required).
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