Background? I always thought I wanted to combine clinical work with research. I completed a PhD before I became a doctor, it was quite different to the research I’m doing now. And I really enjoyed teaching. The combination of the two seemed ideal. It’s a good opportunity to try research out to see if I want to continue.
It’s also a good opportunity to make contacts and contribute to the medical school I trained out. I get to work with my mentors from medical school, they’re such a wonderful group of people. It’s now lots of fun working with them as colleagues.
Research? The research question is around nutritional education teaching at medical school. I’m really interested in the experience at medical school for example, what is being taught, role modelling and where they see nutrition fitting into medicine, is it a core part and, if not why not?
Why? There has been a school of thought that doctors are not good at providing nutritional advice to patients. One of the reasons this could be, was it was not being taught well at medical school – efforts were made to increase nutritional teaching, so has it made a difference?
Recommendation? The benefits to an academic term are twofold; the research and becoming familiar with how primary care research works, and to understand better how to critically appraise information and evidence as to why we [as GPs] do things.
GP is a rich area for research as traditionally GPs haven’t contributed much to research in Australia.
I also really enjoy the teaching side, so it’s an opportunity to further develop my teaching skills and earn a small qualification.
Future? I would like to at least be involved in the local research network of GPs in the ACT. They’re an interesting group who meet with academics at ANU. I’d like to stay involved.
I haven’t yet decided how to split my time when I’m a GP, whether to work mostly as a researcher or other way around – that juggling act I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’d like to contribute to primary care research in some way.
If you want to know more head to our academic research page.