Ms Vicki Bradley | V.Bradley@westernsydney.edu.au | 02 4620 3896
At WSU we are strongly committed to local communities with our research interests informed by the needs and hopes of the communities with which we work. Our current research addresses clinical issues, community/public health concerns, innovations in health professional education, and improvement of health services.
Our overarching research aims are to promote equity, work collaboratively, use innovative evidence based strategies, and to value the people with whom we work. We have growing national and international recognition of our expertise, particularly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, health care of those in Correctional Services, health services research and clinical trials.
Areas of research interest/activity/expertise
- Health Services
- Community Health (especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse peoples)
- Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods
- Participatory Action Research
- Evaluation approaches especially using Program Logic Models
Current research projects in which there is potential for academic registrar involvement
- End of life preferences and advance care planning in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in Western Sydney
- The impact of social alcohol use on adherence to medication in people with chronic disease
- The role of GPs in providing health care for people with substance misuse
- Pathways taken by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students undertaking an undergraduate medical course
- Exploring the context with Aboriginal people who take their own discharge against medical advice
Teaching opportunities for registrars
At Western Sydney University, we promote an innovative student centred approach to teaching. There are opportunities to contribute to General Practice teaching in:
- Year 3 community/ GP rotations
- Year 4 community based research projects
- Year 5 General Practice rotations
- PBL and clinical skills teaching in the early years of our 5 year undergraduate course
You will have opportunities to develop and deliver lectures, facilitate small group learning, develop and lead flipped classroom approaches to teaching and supervise students in community engagement activities. Teaching responsibilities are flexible around the needs of our registrar research projects.
Registrars will not only receive research training and supervision, but may also complete the Western Sydney Foundations of University Learning and Teaching Course, and will have opportunities for further coursework to assist with teaching and research. Registrars will be active team players across all of our research and teaching activities and will receive our every support in engaging in their chosen field of research.
Previous registrar research
- “Assessing the cultural safety of GPs working with Aboriginal patients: what is important and how can the confidence and skills of GP trainers be enhanced?”
- “Transitions from Justice Health into community care for women of CALD background.”
- “What are the challenges and opportunities for learning for medical students in General Practices situated in linguistically diverse communities?”
- “Factors influencing the motivation of medical students to work in urban areas of disadvantage after graduation”
- “Oral Health in General Practice: reported presentations, practitioner confidence, knowledge, current practice and training needs”
- “Exploring patient choices to see more than one GP”
- “Understanding the knowledge and attitudes of Assyrian refugees in relation to cervical screening”
Professor Jenny Reath
MBBS, Dip RANZCOG,F RACGP, M Med (by research)
Professor Reath is the Peter Brennan Foundation Chair of the Department of General Practice, Western Sydney University. She also practices as a GP in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled health services. Prof Reath has research experience related to General Practice, Indigenous health, also educational interventions and policy frameworks. Prof Reath is CI on an NHMRC funded randomised controlled trial of treatment of acute otitis media in urban Aboriginal children. Professor Reath has developed, led implementation of and evaluated national policy frameworks in Indigenous education for General Practice vocational trainees. Her Masters of Medicine was based on a rapid assessment community diagnosis model of health needs assessment which was the first phase of development of a women’s health program on the Pitjantjatjara Lands of South Australia. Professor Reath has also developed and led a multisite pilot of strategies for improving screening for breast and cervical cancer in Aboriginal women.
Professor Reath presents regularly at national conferences, has authored a number of peer reviewed publications with others currently in press. She is a regular reviewer for Australian and international medical journals. Prof Reath is a member of the international advisory board for a new medical school in Nepal, also on the Boards of the Nepean and Blue Mountains Local Hospital Network and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Faculty. From 2009 until 2017, Professor Reath was a member of the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council Human Research Ethics Committee.
Dr Penny Abbott
MBBS (Hons), MPH, FRACGP
Dr Abbott is a senior lecturer in the Department of General Practice. Her major responsibilities relate to leadership and support of research activities within the department. Her research interests include work related to social justice, health care accessibility, cultural competence, prison health, Aboriginal health and childhood ear disease. She is a CI on the Department’s program of NHMRC funded multi-site clinical trial research into the management of ear disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. She has particular interest in qualitative research, participatory methods and clinical trial research.
She is a GP who has worked in western Sydney for over 20 years within the Aboriginal community controlled health sector and the prison health sector. She is on the Board of Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network, is a member of the RACGP ethics committee, chairs the RACGP special interest group for custodial health medicine, and continues to contribute to a wide range of advisory committees reflecting her diverse clinical and research interests.
Dr Lawrence Tan
MBBS (Syd), DCH, DRCOG, MPH (UNSW), FRACGP
Dr Tan is a practising GP in South West Sydney and is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of General Practice, Western Sydney University. He has experience teaching medical students and GP registrars in Australia as well as in South America. His main role at Western Sydney University relates to teaching and assessment of medical students and support for GP supervisors. He is on the NSW Cancer Institute’s Primary Care Advisory Committee. His main research interests relate to primary care in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities particularly in the cancer spectrum from prevention and screening to survivorship and palliative care.
Testimonials from previous academic registrars
Dr David Cosgriff, Academic Registrar (2017)
My time as an academic registrar at Western Sydney University has been most rewarding. The term provides lots of opportunities to be involved in both research and teaching. I have benefited from my supervisors’ advice and support through the development of my application, project design and ethics approval. My direct supervisor is an expert in designing similar projects to mine and her help has been invaluable in getting my project off the ground. I meet her weekly and she is easily contactable outside these times.
I have been involved in teaching, lecturing and community events. I think this will greatly improve my clinical teaching in the future. There has always been a passionate and experienced medical educator to turn to for advice. The team is adaptable so I have been able to be involved in more or less teaching as the demands of my project have changed.
A term in academia helps to enhance your enjoyment of clinical practice, increase your skill base and demonstrates another facet of practicing as a GP. I very much recommend this term to other registrars.
Dr Alison Lyon, Academic GP Registrar (2016 and 2017)
The General Practice Department at WSU provides an excellent environment for Academic Registrars. The staff, led by Professor Reath, go to great lengths to ensure each of the team feels valued and supported. There are many opportunities for teaching: small group sessions, lectures, curriculum development and community engagement. My confidence in teaching has grown – a key learning objective for me. The passion for GP research at WSU is demonstrated by the support and encouragement I have received to develop new skills.
I enjoyed my Academic post at Western Sydney University in 2016 so much I decided to stay for a second year! I had a great experience last year and was able to develop my research and teaching skills in a supportive environment. The passion for research within the GP department is demonstrated by the NHMRC grants they have been awarded and the wide range of research projects currently underway including AOM in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, Justice Health, cancer in CALD communities and my own project in refugee women’s health. My second-year post has given me the skills and confidence to create a research project which involves collaboration with the Translational Health Research Institute and the NSW Refugee Health Service. There are many opportunities for teaching and Registrars are encouraged to develop their areas of interest with small group sessions, lectures, curriculum development and community engagement activities. I highly recommend this post to prospective registrars.
Dr Thomas Fung (2016 Registrar)
I am thoroughly enjoying my time as an academic registrar at Western Sydney University. The team is caring and supportive. This not only includes my supervisors and other lecturers but also our amazing administration staff and research assistants. I have been given invaluable advice in regards to my research including proposals, planning and ethics applications, and have also been given the opportunity to teach medical students. The GP department here also takes part in a variety of activities contributing to the life of university and contributing to establishing links with our local community.
Dr Yasin Shahab (2016 Registrar)
I cannot speak highly enough of the department of general practice team at University of Western Sydney. Not only are they excellent and experienced researchers, there is also a great collegiate environment within the department to support registrars and other team members. Having done very little research and knowing nothing about qualitative research, my supervisor supported me throughout the development of my research proposal, ethics application and navigating the various resources. When I mentioned that teaching is an interest of mine, the various senior members not only offered me a variety of teaching opportunities, but also guided me through the process of organising lectures and teaching material.
I would encourage anyone who is interested to participate as it’s a tremendous opportunity to gain knowledge about research and teaching in a very well supported environment. You will work with mentors who are passionate about their profession, and their enthusiasm is quite infectious!
Dr Dena Attalla (2015 Registrar)
Being an academic registrar is a great alternative to full-time clinical work. It really builds your clinical knowledge – especially for exams! The department of General Practice at UWS are extremely supportive – you get involved with as much as you feel comfortable. Time is divided between teaching (lectures/tutorials to medical students) and a fully supported research project. The experience gained in this term is invaluable and I would definitely recommend this option to my fellow registrars.
Jaspareet Saini (2014 Registrar)
As a General Practice Registrar, an Academic Post at the University of Western Sydney offers me a unique opportunity to experience first-hand a year in the life of an Academic General Practitioner. I am very well supported by a highly experienced General Practice Team and am involved in a research topic of my own choosing, in an area towards which I have a particular passion – health disadvantage. Moreover, my senior colleagues share values that are similar to my own and are not only experienced researchers, but also dedicated clinicians.
Professor Jennifer Reath is my immediate supervisor and the Head of the Department of General Practice at University of Western Sydney. Jenny, as she is fondly known by her colleagues, has dedicated her life towards promoting the equitable delivery of health care for people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds. Her contributions are far-reaching and highly commendable and it is an honour for a junior researcher to be working so closely with someone of her experience.
Despite her many achievements, Jenny is firmly grounded and very easy to approach. She is a passionate educator and mentor. As an Academic Registrar, I feel that I am particularly well supported by Jenny and her colleagues within the Department of General Practice. I am able to debrief with Jenny during our weekly one-on-one meetings and feel comfortable speaking to her about absolutely anything.
Aside from my keen interest in research, I am highly interested in teaching and see myself exploring both research and educational roles in the longer term. For me, an Academic Post with University of Western Sydney means that I am able to explore my passions further in a well-supported team environment. I am involved in both small and large group teaching sessions, and have the pleasure of getting to know an enthusiastic bunch of medical students. I play an active role during Departmental Meetings. My thoughts towards the curriculum, research activities and various aspects of the MBBS program are heard, discussed and very often acted upon. Each member of the Department has a different set of skills and experience to bring to the table and is made to feel valued. This synergy is one of the driving forces of our team.
For anyone that is considering an Academic Post at University of Western Sydney, there is a lot to gain from this unique opportunity. In a few months, I have developed confidence in public speaking, academic writing, research and teaching. I have been able to explored some of my own hidden talents and above all, have met some amazing and inspirational people.
Dr Kelly Watt, Academic GP Registrar (2013 and 2014)
The team at University of Western Sydney provides a wonderfully supportive and enthusiastic environment and an opportunity to work with excellent and experienced role models My supervisor supported me throughout development of my research proposal and ethics application and directed me towards valuable training opportunities. Members of the university team also supported me with preparation of medical student teaching activities. My confidence and skills in small group tutorials and lectures increased rapidly throughout the term. The flexibility of my supervisor meant I could be as independent or as supported as I needed. Working in a busy university department meant there was always a variety of activities to get involved with. It’s a tremendous opportunity to gain research and teaching in a very well supported environment.