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  • 17 Dec 2018 12:30 PM | Lynsey Brown (Administrator)

     ****WATCH THIS SPACE*****  AAAPC Annual Research Conference 2019
    It's official - AAAPC will be convening its first Research Conference in 2019.
    We are excited to announce that the first conference will be held at the University of Adelaide in mid-July. Dates and calls for abstracts will be released in January.

    Conference working group - Liz Sturgiss, Nigel Stocks, Katharine Wallis, Lauralie Richard, Lauren Ball, Lynsey Brown, Grant Russell, Chris Barton, Kirsty Douglas, Phyllis Lau.

    Do you have links to organisations who may be interested in sponsorship at ARC 2019? We will have sponsorship opportunities for keynotes, prizes and marketing brochures. We would welcome contact from people and organisations who are interested in supporting Australasian primary care research excellence -

    Dr Penny Abbott awarded a Churchill Fellowship
    Penny Abbott has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate access to primary care for people leaving prison and people with addictions. As Penny says, “Expert GP care for this vulnerable group can prevent people being sent to prison who are actually in need to health care”. She will travel to the US and Canada in 2019.

    Congratulations Penny from everyone at AAAPC - and special congratulations from Prof Jenny Reath who says she is still cheering! Travel safe.
    Fantastic news from University of Wollongong
    - Congratulations to Ms Kaara Calma (UOW PhD candidate and UOW academic staff) - selected as one of 21 from across the globe to be a member of the World Health Organisations’ Primary Health Care Young Leaders Network! Kaara recently visited Astana, Kazakhstan representing Australian Primary Health Care nurses at the Youth and Young Professionals PreConference and the WHO Global Conference on Primary Health Care. Mr Robbie Bedbrook (UOW Adjunct Lecturer in Nursing) was also an invited speaker at this event.
    - Dr Christine Ashley graduated with a PhD from the UOW School of Nursing with a thesis entitled: “Exploring the Transition of Registered Nurses from Acute Care to Primary Health Care Settings”.

    Members on the move
    Professor Lena Sanci has now been formally appointed as Head of the Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne. Lena received news of her appointment and her successful internal promotion to level E in the same week.  Warmest congratulation to Lena.

    Associate Professor Narelle Shadbolt has resigned as head of Discipline of General Practice at Sydney Medical School, the University of Sydney.  We wish her all the best for a happy and healthy and relaxing next step.

    Dr Liz Sturgiss has been appointed as Senior Lecturer at Monash Department of General Practice where she will commence in mid-January. She is currently up to her eyeballs in moving boxes and looking forward to the adventure.
    *Spark* Paper of the Month - from Dr Lauralie Richard
    Zonneveld N, Driessen N, Stüssgen RAJ, Minkman MMN. Values of Integrated Care: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2018;18(4):9. DOI:
    This theory-informed systematic review provides critical insight into the underlying values of integrated care. By applying values theory to the integrated care literature, the review identified a set of 23 values proposed as a potential basis for a values-driven approach to integrated care. The review findings have practical applications at multiple levels, and interesting research, methodological and conceptual implications are discussed to inform future developments in the field.

    Book Review
    Have you come across the "thinkwell" series? These short, snappy books are packed full of useful tips for HDR students, supervisors and clinicians. From information on time management, how to improve your writing, and increasing productivity, everyone will find something to improve their working week. With the new year approaching, these books will definitely help with resolutions to make 2019 more productive and enjoyable for you.
    Welcome to New AAAPC Members
    We warmly welcome all new members to AAAPC - if you would like your bio to be published in the monthly newsletter, please email This is a great way to build networks within our community.
    Safe travels to all AAAPC members over the holiday season - we hope you have time to enjoy the company of family and friends.

  • 23 Nov 2018 4:00 PM | Lynsey Brown (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce the opening of the AAAPC Travelling Fellowship.

    This Fellowship provides up to $3000 for an AAAPC member for travel towards research and/or education in 2019.

    Early career academics are strongly encouraged to apply.

    Please see the Travelling Fellowship page for more details.

    Applications close 31 January 2019.

  • 19 Nov 2018 1:30 PM | Lynsey Brown (Administrator)

    AAAPC News - November 2018  
    Global Conference on Primary Health Care
    Lynsey Brown
    From 25-26 October, the WHO, UNICEF and Government of Kazakhstan co-hosted the Global Conference on Primary Health Care at the striking Palace of Independence in Kazakhstan’s new capital, Astana. Over 2000 delegates attended this event (including AAAPC members Kirsty Douglas, Michael Kidd and Teng Liaw) that brought together heads of state; ministers of health, finance, education and social welfare; academics; health professionals; consumer advocates; youth delegates; philanthropists; media; and representatives from non-government, civil society, private and global health advocacy organisations.

    A mix of high-level plenaries, breakout panel discussions, exhibits and café sessions addressed core topics from non-communicable diseases to antimicrobial resistance, meeting the needs of marginalised populations, health financing, integration, prevention, social determinants, workforce challenges, and digital technologies. The aims of the Conference were to reflect on achievements since the historic 1978 Alma-Ata Declaration, and endorse the 2018 Astana Declaration. The new Declaration reaffirms commitment to PHC to achieve universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals, acknowledging that Health for All cannot be accomplished without equitable, person-centred, high quality PHC.

    I was invited to attend the Conference and the Young People’s Engagement in PHC Youth Preparatory Workshop after being accepted into the WHO’s PHC Young Leaders Network, alongside fellow Australian Kaara Calma from the University of Wollongong. The 21 members of the Network were selected from over 2000 international applicants. We now have the opportunity to work together to promote and advocate for PHC, including engaging with the WHO’s PHC agenda, and learning from global leaders through mentorship opportunities. It is a real honour and I look forward to working with these inspiring colleagues from all corners of the globe over the next 12 months.
    NAPCRG - North American Primary Care Research Group Annual Meeting: Chicago 9-13 November
    The NAPCRG Annual Meeting is one of the biggest primary care research conferences in the world. Attended by over 1000 delegates from 21 countries it showcases the best of primary care research.

    Congratulations to Prof Danielle Mazza who was awarded a Distinguished Paper for her work "The Australian Contraceptive ChOice pRoject (ACCORd): Results of a Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial Aimed at Increasing Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) Uptake". Danielle presented the results of the RCT at the Sunday plenary and her work was met with interest, enthusiasm and many questions from the floor.
    Congratulations are also extended to Jason Chiang who was awarded the Starfield Award for first place in the Distinguished Trainee Award for his work "Associations Between Multimorbidity, All-Cause Mortality and Glycaemic Outcomes in People With Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review". An amazing achievement to be recognised as the top trainee at this international forum - may your success long continue Jason!
    Prof Felicity Goodyear-Smith presented the AAAPC Distinguished Paper titled "Identifying and Closing Gaps in Primary Health Research and Implementation in Low and Middle Income Countries" highlighting her international collaboration working to improve primary care research across the globe. The solid approach to method under tight time constraints was applauded by many delegates.
    As always, the antipodean delegates enjoyed spending quality time together at great restaurants and on the dancefloor.

    NAPCRG welcomes international researchers and it is a great forum for expanding your research ideas into global healthcare settings. Next year the Annual Meeting will be held in Toronto, and in 2020 in San Francisco.
    22nd WONCA World Conference of Family Doctors: Seoul, Korea 17-21 October
    Prof Michael Kidd was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the World Organisation of Family Doctors at WONCA World in Korea. Michael was recognised for his ongoing work in championing the worth of primary healthcare in international forums across the world.

    Michael also presented the Ian McWhinney Keynote Address "A Call to Heal" at the Family Medicine Forum in Canada. His inspiring talk generated a Twitter storm that has left many of us wishing we had been there to hear it! Congratulations on these achievements from everyone at AAAPC.
    Members on the move
    We wish Prof Nick Zwar well in his new role as Executive Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine at Bond University commencing on 14 January 2019. Best wishes Nick for a smooth move filled with success and happiness from everyone at AAAPC!
    *Spark* Paper of the Month - from Dr Lauralie Richard
    "Qualitative research in healthcare: Modern methods, clear translation - a white paper" from Australian Institute of Health Innovation was published in August this year.

    This White Paper provides critical guidance on the use of qualitative  methods in health services and medical research. It illustrates the  scope of qualitative methods across a range of studies, and the impact of qualitative methods on research outcomes and  healthcare practices. The monograph discusses current and innovative  methods in use, and effective ways in which research results may be  implemented to foster change. It examines the more challenging and controversial aspects of applying qualitative methods in healthcare  contexts, raises awareness of key ethical issues, and highlights quality  criteria for qualitative research to foster a culture of excellence in  the field.
    Book Review
    It is too late for exam writing this year, but the book "Symptom Sorter" by Hopcroft and Forte provides inspiration for writing primary care clinical exam questions.

    Based on symptoms, there are lists of differential diagnoses, most likely symptoms, red flags and things not to be missed. Put it on your list for expanding your exam question bank for 2019.
    Welcome to New AAAPC Members
    We warmly welcome all new members to AAAPC - if you would like your bio to be published in the monthly newsletter, please email This is a great way to build networks within our community.

  • 18 Oct 2018 5:00 PM | Lynsey Brown (Administrator)

    AAAPC News - October 2018 
    Inaugural Webinar
    The inaugural AAAPC webinar was well attended with 40 people logging in from both sides of the Tasman. Prof Grant Russell (Monash) generously shared his experiences as an academic in primary care and the feedback on the presentation and the webinar platform has been overwhelmingly positive.

    An enormous thank you to Dr Lauralie Richard and Dr Phyllis Lau for leading this new initiative - as a grassroots organisation we currently exist only on the dedication of members. Thank you so much for your time, effort and enthusiasm. The recording of the webinar will be available on the renovated website.

    2017 AAAPC Most Distinguished Paper Award - SAPC, UK
    Dr Penny Abbott (Western Sydney University)
    It was an honour to be the recipient of the AAAPC Most Distinguished paper award in 2017, and then to be able to present this at the SAPC conference in London this year. The conference was full of passionate primary care researchers and commitment to social justice was in the air!

    The paper was titled ‘Medical homelessness’ and women in contact with the criminal justice system and reported on a qualitative study of access to care for this marginalised group of people. The research was undertaken as part of my PhD, and carried out under the expert supervision of Prof Wendy Hu and Prof Parker Magin and cultural mentorship of Ms Joyce Davison.  Women in contact with the criminal justice system often have high health needs, problems with substance misuse and backgrounds of disadvantage and life trauma. They experience serial incarcerations and can struggle to access the care they need either in prison or in the community. I hope this work contributes to the efforts to break this cycle of ill health and recurrent imprisonment. It has become increasingly clear to me that primary care is part of the solution and we need to welcome people with substance misuse and those leaving prison into our medical homes.

    It was a big moment for me to win the AAAPC award and also be awarded my PhD this year, and I just wanted to reflect on my path to this point. The Australian academic primary care movement has been very important to me. Having been a clinician for many years, I was very attracted by the PHCRED Researcher Development Program and was awarded a fellowship in 2008-9. I had very encouraging supervisors, particularly Dr Rachelle Rubinstein, and lots of resources made available to me, meaning I could knuckle down to qualitative research and fine coffee at the Sydney University premises in Balmain. After a travelling fellowship through RACGP to attend an international WONCA conference I was completely hooked. I joined the RACGP Standing Committee for Research and their Ethics Committee and shortly after started my own PhD. I love the stimulation and constant learning of an academic career, and the way it ties so well to being a clinician and to creating positive change. Thanks AAAPC and everybody who has been working all these years to keep academic primary care growing.

    Congratulations Penny on your successful year - especially on the award of your PhD. From everyone at AAAPC.

    GP18 - Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Annual Conference
    Prof Felicity Goodyear-Smith presented the research plenary at the 2018 annual RACGP conference. Centred on the work of WONCA, she described how research (just like chocolate) should be something that everyone can consume and enjoy. WONCA - the World Organization of Family Doctors - has existed longer that the Wonka movies, but not as long as the famous R. Dahl book. WONCA continues to be the peak international body for the work of family doctors and Felicity's work to emphasise the role of research was inspiring.

    *Spark* Paper of the Month - by Dr Lauralie Richard
    Luig, T. , Anderson, R. , Sharma, A. M. and Campbell‐Scherer, D. L. (2018), Personalizing obesity assessment and care planning in primary care: patient experience and outcomes in everyday life and health. Clin Obes. doi:10.1111/cob.12283
    Our Spark paper of the month is an outstanding qualitative piece of work undertaken by the 5As Team at the University of Alberta examining primary care consultations and their impact in patients’ everyday life to propose an approach to personalized clinical conversations about obesity. Findings contribute to a greater understanding of how primary care providers can impact health through communication. The study found that for people who are willing to talk about weight with their provider, the proposed personalised approach fosters emphatic care relationships, results in cognitive and emotional shifts that support patients in making sustainable changes to improve health and optimizes interdisciplinary team care to avoid misplaced efforts.

    Book Review - by Dr Liz Sturgiss
    This month I am recommending two books that were featured in Grant's webinar:
    - "The doctor, his patient, and the illness" by Balint (1964)
    - "A textbook of family medicine" by McWhinney

    In the interest of authenticity I will admit that I have not read either of these books, but have them earmarked for beach-side reading over the summer. Grant described these books as life and career changing in his webinar.
    Grant also mentioned a paper from 1986 by McWhinney "Are we on the brink of a major transformation of clinical method?" It is interesting to read and reflect on how far clinical teaching and practice has (or has not) tipped over the brink that McWhinney described 32 years ago.

    Welcome to New AAAPC Members
    We warmly welcome all new members to AAAPC - if you would like your bio to be published in the monthly newsletter, please email This is a great way to build networks within our community.

  • 14 Sep 2018 2:00 PM | Lynsey Brown (Administrator)

    AAAPC News - September 2018 
    Inaugural Webinar
    Prof Grant Russell will speak at our inaugural AAAPC webinar on Tuesday 25th September, 12-1pm, "Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes. Building a career in academic primary care." A flyer is attached for circulation to your networks - the more the merrier - members and non-members welcome at no-cost for this AAAPC first.
    Register now!

    New Zealand General Practice and Primary Care Research Weekend
    The 2018 New Zealand General Practice and Primary Care Research Weekend took place in beautiful Hanmer Springs, a two-hour drive north of Christchurch. The gathering regrouped early career researchers and established academics from across the country showcasing high quality research from an array of topics and methodologies. We also had the pleasure of hearing from international guest speakers, including Professor of Primary Care Nursing Elizabeth Halcomb from the University of Wollongong with her work on “Understanding job satisfaction and career intention amongst Australian general practice nurses”, and Dr Anders Svensson from the Norwegian Centre for Rural Medicine, Uit Arctic University of Norway, presenting on “Patients with multimorbidity - failing systems and social inequality creates fragmented services”. The weekend was a real success, combining high quality research presentations with exhilarating outdoor activities. Dr Ciara Lee, PhD student at the Department of General Practice & Rural Health, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, won this year’s Les Toop award for best early career presentation for her work on “Empowering undergraduate medical students to embrace uncertainty in clinical practice via a novel intervention”. The Bruce Arroll Meritorious Award attributed to the best presentation from an established researcher went to Professor Sue Pullon for her work on “Collaborative care in “Youth One Stop Shops” in New Zealand: Hidden, Time-consuming, Essential”.

    Make sure not to miss next year’s event in the Waikato region in the middle of New Zealand’s north island, all welcome!

    Churchill Fellowship - Prof Jan Radford
    Prof Jan Radford was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate how routinely collected GP electronic medical record data can be used to improve patient care. Here she fills us in on her journey so far:

    "It’s proving to be an extraordinary experience even after only a week. The time to concentrate on this one issue over 2 months with time between meetings to think about what I’ve found so far is a unique experience. Life is usually so full of other things to juggle. I’m starting to appreciate that in England the context of funded clinical research networks (CRNs) is part of a GP culture that enables the collection of GP e-HR data. General practices are accredited via their RCGP as ‘research ready’ basic and advanced via on-line learning programs, etc. The support of CRN facilitators and training leads to improved data quality with feedback on data quality provided. Opportunities to take part in clinical trials comes via CRNs with payment per patient enrolled adding to practice income. There are many datasets collected in England or UK general practice with better e-HR data coming from practices more committed to research.

    The Central Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) service  can automatically data-link GP to other datasets such as hospital outcome or mortality, and registries for added value to researchers. Eighty percent of CPRD requests are for data-linked datasets. As expected these datasets are  more expensive to access with all services contacted so far operating in a cost recovery fashion to provide access for researchers.

    So funding of English general practice research, that is missing in Australia, enables much more research to take place using general practice patients and GP academics. The funding of the CRNs comes from the equivalent of research unit within our Federal Department of Health. In our context the medical research future fund could cover this. The RCGP fund the development of practice training aiming to identify leaders within practices to champion research. The research champion may be a GP, other clinician or practice manager. Practices pay to be accredited but this enables them to be considered for trials.

    I’ll no doubt discover more as I listen to more people. Another area of research interest identified comes from a recent discussion featuring the concept of a learning healthcare system based on using e-HR data and closing the loop to support decision making.

    They are my impressions about the English scene revealed so far and my reflections on Australia’s current scene. I expect both to evolve."

    *Spark* Paper of the Month
    The “Spark paper” - publication that sparked great interest in the PHC research community. Hot topic! Do not miss! Got to read this!
    This month Dr Lauralie Richard (University of Otago) has nominated "Job satisfaction and career intentions of registered nurses in primary health care: an integrative review", Elizabeth Halcomb, Elizabeth Smyth and Susan McInnes. BMC Family Practice, 2018; 19:136.

    This integrative literature review is the first evidence synthesis looking at factors that impact on job satisfaction and career intentions of registered nurses working in primary health care. The proportion of nurses across studies indicating an intention to leave the primary health care workforce is a significant concern at a time when we need to build the primary health care workforce internationally. The findings highlight the need for action to enhance support for nurses in primary health care.

    Book Review - by Dr Liz Sturgiss
    Dr Margaret McCartney is a GP who wrote a column in the BMJ for the last 4.5 years - she recently stepped down and went out with a bang writing "Margaret McCartney: A summary of four and a half years of columns in one column".

    Her book, "The Patient Paradox" was published in 2012 and is a must read. This review in BJGP ends with "Read this book. But don't expect to be able to practice medicine in the same way again." I completely agree. 

    Welcome to New AAAPC Members
    We warmly welcome all new members to AAAPC - if you would like your bio to be published in the monthly newsletter, please email This is a great way to build networks within our community.

  • 17 Aug 2018 2:00 PM | Lynsey Brown (Administrator)

    AAAPC News - August 2018 

    Inaugural Webinar
    Prof Grant Russell will speak at our inaugural AAAPC webinar on Tuesday 25th September, 12-1pm: "Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." Building a career in academic primary care.

    A flyer is attached for circulation to your networks - the more the merrier - members and non-members welcome at no-cost for this AAAPC first.
    Register at this link:

    Charles Bridges-Webb Medal - 2018

    Prof Ngaire Kerse was awarded the prestigious Charles Bridges-Webb Medal at the gala dinner this year. Ngaire was recognised for her outstanding academic practice, teaching and leadership. The medal was presented by the AAAPC President, Prof Kirsty Douglas and the NZ contingent celebrated with a beautiful Maori song. Congratulations Ngaire - we are lucky to have someone as wonderful as you in our PHC research community!

    Funding success for Australian Primary Care Researchers
    Congratulations to Prof Danielle Mazza and her team at Monash University Department of General Practice who will host a new $2.5 million NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in women’s sexual and reproductive health in primary care. The SPHERE Centre will "bring about a paradigm shift in the way GPs and other primary care practitioners deliver preconception, contraception and abortion services, through an integrated life course approach to help women achieve their own reproductive goals." This is excellent news for primary care research and improving the health of women in our communities - congratulations from everyone at AAAPC!
    The annual RACGP Foundation Grants saw further success for AAAPC members - nearly all of the recipients are members of AAAPC. Congratulations to: Prof Mieke van Driel, Prof Lyndal Trevana, Dr Jo-Anne Manski Nankervis, Prof Tania Winzenberg, Dr Melinda Choy, Dr Karyn Alexander, Dr Geoffrey Spurling, Dr Liz Sturgiss, Dr Lena von Schuckmann, Dr Pallavi Prathivadi, Dr LIsa Crossland. Best wishes for your research over the coming year.

    Welcome to New AAAPC Members
    We warmly welcome all new members to AAAPC - if you would like your bio to be published in the monthly newsletter, please email This is a great way to build networks within our community. Welcome!

    Stephanie Hyams
    I am based in Sydney and have been a medical practitioner for almost 20 years after graduating with honours from the University of Sydney in 2001. Prior to this I completed a degree in medical science and did an honours year in research (Neuroscience) at the same university. At this time, my interest in research developed and I had thought about completing a higher degree. Since graduating from medical school, I worked towards a career in critical medicine but after many years working as a career medical officer in emergency medicine, I changed tack and embarked in a career in general practice. I attained my fellowship with RACGP in 2017. I currently work in a multidisciplinary practice in which our main focus is metabolic health promotion and disease prevention.

    My main interest within this space is insulin resistance/ pre-diabetes and so when the opportunity presented itself to start a PhD this year (with my supervisor being the main force behind the Blue Mountains Eye Study), I jumped at the chance knowing that there is a lot of overlap and cross-over in the general practice space. Through this research, I am hoping to possibly rethink the way we look at the spectrum of diabetes and translate this into our daily work as general practitioners. A bold statement I know!

    Amy Coe
    Amy Coe (BBSc Psych Hons) is currently a research assistant and program coordinator of the Integrated Mental Health Research team at the University of Melbourne, Department of General Practice. During her time at the Department, she has been key to the success of the NHMRC funded Target-D RCT, having been involved in the study since its inception. She has particular expertise in research communication and the design of study materials that meet the needs of both ethics committees and research participants. She currently sits on the ethics committee at the Department of General Practice. Her previous work has been in the area of parenting (parent trauma and infant sleep) and attitudes towards online mental health therapies.

    Attendance of the SAPC conference in London
    Heinz Tilenius (NHS Glasgow & Clyde, UK)
     The 47th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Academic Primary Care 2018, took place from 10  to 12 July in London at the Barbican Centre. This year’s conference topic was “Learning from Europe and Populations on the Move”. I felt that this was a well-chosen subject, given the current migration pressures into Europe from neighbouring socioeconomically more disadvantaged and civil war-exposed populations. At the conference, there was strong presence of presenting academics from Australia and New Zealand, presenting studies from refugee health and other interesting topics. Professor Penny Abbott from Sydney presented the most distinguished paper from Australasia, “Medical Homelessness”, which summarised findings from a project of ex-prisoners of the criminal justice system, and which I felt privileged to listen to. The conference was a great opportunity for networking, and was well attended. The poster presentations were also excellent, and included numerous presentations from Australasia. Overall, I felt both informed about current academic primary care, and inspired about the research achievements presented. The event was very well organised and the conference location was conveniently chosen in central London. I would recommend this conference for anyone with an interest in primary care research.                                                                                                                                                       

    *Spark* Paper of the Month
    A fantastic addition to the newsletter is suggested by Dr Lauralie Richard (University of Otago).

     Our first Spark paper is from the winner of AAAPC’s most distinguished paper at the PHCRIS conference.

    Participatory methods have become the new Zeitgeist—the spirit of our times in quality improvement.” Learn more about the work of Dr Palmer (@VictoriaJPalmer) and the CORE Study team at the University of Melbourne with this latest publication presenting mechanisms and relational transitions within coproduction and codesign when used as participatory methods in healthcare quality improvement.

    This will be a regular feature of the monthly newsletter. The “Spark paper” - publication that sparked great interest in the primary health care research community. Hot topic! Do not miss! Got to read this!

    Book Review
    If you want to remember why you love primary healthcare and how it can change communities, I highly recommend Prof Jan De Maeseneer's new book. Written at the end of his high profile career as a Belgium academic family doctor, the book chronicles his achievements and sets them in the wider PHC context. I could not put it down and enjoyed it from cover to cover - you can get a sneak peek of the first chapter here online!

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