Welcome from Head of Department

Dear Colleagues

I write as Melbourne returns to work from the Easter break and ANZAC day commemorations, with the Autumn now upon us and the year in full swing. We are approaching yet another phase of living with COVID and bracing for the flu season hopefully with as many vaccinated as possible. Thank you all for staying engaged with us in our research and teaching mission despite the burden on general practice from the extremes of the pandemic effort.

Changes in the climate, the war in Ukraine, and federal elections are challenging, so I am very happy to share some good news stories from our department’s work with you in this edition of the newsletter. Hopefully reassuring us all on the power that collaboration can bring to positively impact human health.

We are very excited to announce the recipient of the inaugural Leon Carp award, Dr Megan Arlett from Townsville. Dr Arlett is a worthy winner among a competitive field of other inspiring applicants who we also thank for their applications. Dr Leon Carp, until 2019, still worked in the general practice he established to serve his community for the last 60 years; he is the quintessential GP caring for his patients from cradle to grave in the context of their families, culture, and broader community. Through a generous philanthropic donation Dr Carp’s legacy keeps giving to advance general practice care for the community through capacity building for GPs in research skills.

Along the same line of building academic teaching and research capacity amongst GPs we are very happy to introduce to you our new Academic Registrars for 2022. Drs: Matthew Suen working on a decision support tool for oral hypoglycaemic agents; Eleanor Bulford working on GPs perspectives on trauma-informed care for intimate partner violence survivors; Naomi Kilov working on GP management of infantile colic; and Caroline McBride working on implementation of a QI program for reducing cardiovascular risk in CKD.   We also have 12 new Honours students and 4 PhD students commencing study with us – read more about their research below.

We were successful in a recent highly competitive MRFF fund for primary care clinician researchers in a trial of an intervention to Strengthen Care for Rural Children through a locally adapted intervention to integrate primary care with specialists in a learning community of practice, co-consultations, and phone/email support. This is collaboration between our University of Melbourne with UNSW, MCRI, Western Vic PHN, Murrumbidgee PHN and LHD, Macquarie University, University of Notre Dame, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, Barwon Health, Ballarat Health, RACGP and RACP. https://about.unimelb.edu.au/news-resources/awards-and-achievements/announcements/mrff-funding-to-support-health-initiatives-at-the-university-of-melbourne

Prof Jon Emery and colleagues published a series of articles from their research on cancer survivorship in The Lancet April 14th 2022 (https://www.thelancet.com/series/cancer-survivorship). To be published in this prestigious journal signals the quality and global impact of this work and we are very proud that an academic general practitioner, Jon Emery is a leader in this. Other achievements in funding for important work in cancer detection and management in primary care are also highlighted in this edition.

Please enjoy reading these articles and so much more in the links below

With best wishes