Recognition of emerging research in general practice

Morgan Liotta

20/11/2019 10:58:28 AM

The RACGP Foundation recently honoured two of its outstanding researchers.

Dr Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis; Dr Rita McMorrow
L–R: Dr Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis and Dr Rita McMorrow have been awarded for their new research in the field of general practice.

The Foundation believes in the importance of research in general practice. Its awards are designed to support and recognise researchers from all stages of their careers.
Peter Mudge Medal
This award was established to honour the work and commitment of Professor Peter Mudge. It is presented for advances in the discipline of general practice and research with the most potential to significantly influence daily general practice.
The 2019 recipient Dr Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis believes the honour was born from a collaborative effort.  
‘This is fantastic acknowledgement of the work that our team at the University of Melbourne and National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship have been undertaking in collaboration with participating GPs,’ she told newsGP.
‘I’d also like to acknowledge the Therapeutic Guidelines Limited/RACGP Foundation Research Grant, which has supported this project.’
Dr Manski-Nankervis regards the award as ‘especially poignant’, given the recent passing of Professor Mudge.
Her research involved working with GPs to co-design a clinical decision-support tool for antimicrobial prescribing to test in simulated consultations, forming one component of a quality improvement program the research team is currently piloting with four general practices in the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (PHN).
‘The importance of antimicrobial stewardship in general practice is increasingly acknowledged’, said.
‘We are aiming for this program to be something that GPs enjoy participating in and that they find useful in optimising their clinical practice, and can contribute to development of practice-based antimicrobial stewardship programs that will work for them in their context.’
A key anticipated outcome of the project is that the implemented program will help optimise safe antimicrobial prescribing in general practice.
‘To ensure that patients get the right medications when they need them, and those that don’t require them are not exposed to potential risk and development of antimicrobial resistance,’ Dr Manski-Nankervis explained.

Our participating general practices will help us to optimise this program, which we hope will eventually be able to be delivered at scale.’
Having the opportunity to combine clinical, teaching and research work is something
‘I am in an incredibly privileged position,’ she said.
‘Not only do I learn from my patients, I also get to learn from GPs, practice managers and practice nurses who are doing amazing work in the community and have a passion for general practice research which goes hand-in-hand with their clinical work.’
Alan Chancellor Award
This award is presented to a GP or general practice registrar considered to be the best first presenter of a research paper at the RACGP’s annual conference.
Dr Rita McMorrow was surprised and honoured to learn she had won the award.
‘It is an honour to win this award as an early-career researcher starting in general practice academia,’ she told newsGP.
‘It also recognises the work of the entire project team and the patients who contributed by participating in the study.’
As part of her RACGP Academic Post general practice registrar position, Dr McMorrow wanted to investigate if retrospective glucose monitoring use might overcome a barrier to patient engagement by looking for any changes in attendances to primary care.
She conducted this through a sub-analysis of the GP-OSMOTIC study, investigating the changes in primary care attendance for this cohort of patients. The GP-OSMOTIC study looked at how the evidence of avoiding finger-prick testing for glucose monitoring in patients with type 2 diabetes in primary care is currently limited.
Dr McMorrow has found that choosing a career in general practice and starting an academic general practice registrar position to be ‘two of the best decisions’ she has made.
‘It is the patients who allow you to share their journey and that of their families that make each day so rewarding,’ she said.
‘I always wanted a career where no two days would be the same – general practice and primary care research certainly provides that.
‘I also love that, as a GP, I feel a strong sense of community and belonging. I have wonderful colleagues, supervisors and mentors who continuously help me grow as a clinician and a researcher.’
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