GP18 Q&A: Keynote speaker Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith

Paul Hayes

27/09/2018 1:59:46 PM

newsGP spoke with Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith, from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, ahead of this year’s RACGP conference for general practice.

Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith’s GP18 keynote address will share insights into on the value WONCA places on research.
Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith’s GP18 keynote address will share insights into on the value WONCA places on research.

Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith is Chair of the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) Working Party on Research.
newsGP spoke with Professor Goodyear-Smith in the lead-up of her GP18 keynote address, Looking inside Wonca’s chocolate factory: How research should be ‘made’, which will share insights into on the value WONCA places on research.
Can you tell us about yourself?
I have been a GP since 1981, mostly working with disadvantaged populations of various descriptions.
In the 1990s I undertook a postgraduate paper entitled ‘The philosophy of general practice’ out of interest, and then continued on to get a Master’s in general practice.
In 2000 I became an academic by accident, working part-time in general practice and part-time on contract research work at the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, at the University of Auckland, while my daughter was small.
In 2010 I was awarded a chair in general practice, although this was not a goal I had been working towards – it crept up on me by stealth.
Another unforeseen event was suddenly becoming the Academic Head of the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care in 2013 – not a role I would have sought out – because the expected candidates had moved elsewhere. I now oversee the general practice teaching for our medical students, which includes maintaining good relationships with several hundred GPs throughout the top half of NZ who take our students on attachments.
My research is eclectic, like the nature of our discipline, but particularly looks at screening and interventions for lifestyle and mental health issues, international primary healthcare service delivery, and issues relating to vaccination.
What is your impression/understanding of Australian general practice?
I suspect there are a number of issues common to our two countries, such as:

  • an ageing GP workforce
  • increasing administrative requirements
  • work overload and insufficient time to see patients
  • the changing nature of clinical practice from acute care to chronic care management of complex conditions and multimorbidity.
What will you be discussing at GP18?
I will be talking about primary care research and how to make it relevant and valuable to those who should benefit from it – our primary care health providers, our patients, their families and their communities.
A key to this is co-design and having research conducted with and by – not on – the end users.
What are the key issues facing health practitioners in 2018?
I have probably answered much of this already, but it includes:
  • keeping abreast of the huge advances in new knowledge and being able to assess what is relevant to their practising context. Does it confirm their practice or suggest change to practice?
  • dealing with workforce shortages, especially in socially deprived and rural areas, and developing new models of care, teamwork and task-shifting
  • addressing the limited resources available in an era when technology and innovation means there is always more help and intervention that can be provided than there is funding/resources to enable this for all. Policies are needed to set priorities, to reduce disparity gaps and decide on the core services that need to be provided universally.
What are you looking forward to experiencing while in Australia?
Sadly I will only be spending a couple of days in Australia, having just had a quick visit to Liverpool, in the UK, and then heading straight off to the WONCA World conference in Seoul.
The honest answer is that I will be most looking forward to stretching my legs on the beach after many long flights and especially going for a swim in the sea.
And it will of course also be great to meet my Australian colleagues and hear first-hand about general practice across the ditch.

Visit the GP18 website to learn more and register for the conference.

conference for general practice general practice research GP18

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Deborah sambo   2/10/2018 10:22:14 PM

Really looking forward too this out of the box GP at GP18.