Dr Isabel Hanson - GP Synergy

Dr Isabel Hanson

Home / Case Studies / Dr Isabel Hanson

Central, Eastern & South Western Sydney

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I grew up in Sydney, and completed my medical studies and internship at the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Before studying medicine I worked in the federal public service specialising in behavioural economics and policy strategy. I have bachelors degrees in political economy and psychology.

Outside of medicine I teach yoga and meditation, I love to sing and I coordinate our local hospital choir. This summer I am training for my first triathlon.

Why did you decide to become a GP?

General practice is my dream job. I come home most days feeling like I have made a difference in people’s lives.

GP combines diverse clinical medicine with continuity of care and valuing the importance of people and their communities.

What attracted you to undertake an academic component to your training?

The RACGP academic registrar post is a fantastic training opportunity. I have always been interested in academia – I completed an honours degree in political economy using mixed-methods research, and also taught undergraduate subjects in political economy, economic history, and world politics.

What is your research project about?

My research project is a mixed-methods investigation aiming to identify areas of social prescribing activity, gaps in current knowledge, and explore how social prescribing practices evolved in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recent surveys showed that all GPs agree that social prescribing can improve health outcomes, but less than 20% regularly discuss this with their patients.

Why does this gap exist?

My project aims to identify barriers and consider how we might increase social prescribing in the Australian context.

What was your motivation for the project?

Social disconnection and isolation contributes to poor health. Social prescribing can be a supportive treatment modality for vulnerable groups such as people experiencing mental health issues, chronic disease conditions, social isolation, older people, and children in the first 1000 days of life.

Is your research project part of a larger research project or stand-alone research?

I am the lead investigator on this project. This project will contribute to building a critical mass of evidence through data collection and mapping of current social prescribing practices, identified as a priority research area by the RACGP Social Prescribing Roundtable in 2019.

What do you see as the benefits, both to yourself, and generally, of undertaking an academic component in your GP training?

My goal is to become an academic GP who can contribute to our community through clinical work, research, teaching, and leadership.

The RACGP academic registrar post will support me to develop my skills in mixed method research, academic publication, medical student teaching, and conference presentation. The program has also connected me with inspiring academic GP mentors across a range of fields.

I am delighted to be a undertaking my academic registrar post in 2021 and I look forward to contributing to clinical knowledge through research, to the next generation of junior doctors through teaching, and to becoming a leader in the general practice profession.


To learn more about academic posts visit the Academic research page on our website.


Why choose the AGPT program?

Learn about AGPT

Explore the RACGP college pathway

Explore / how to apply

Explore the ACRRM college pathway

Explore / how to apply

Request an applicant pack

Download now