The end of a long visit from Oslo

As a GP, embarking on a PhD on early-onset type 2 diabetes at The Department of General Practice, University of Oslo, I contacted Lena Sanci and Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis in early 2019 about a visit to the DGP. In late September, I travelled to Melbourne with my family and received a warm welcome by everyone at the department. I would especially like to thank the PhD student group for making me feel so included.

My project is an epidemiological study using a cross-sectional dataset with 10 000 patients from Norwegian GP clinics. The three papers for my PhD will focus on early-onset type 2 diabetes and (i) clinical factors and treatment in general practice, (ii) socioeconomic factors, using linked data from Statistics Norway, and (iii) multimorbidity, with linked data from The Norwegian Prescription Database. During my stay, I have been cleaning and analyzing these data.

I have enjoyed sitting in the landscape on level 2 and taking part in Research Matters, morning teas and seminars. I managed to fit in three conferences during my first couple of months and had the wonderful opportunity to visit Ralph Audehm and John Furler in their clinics. Thank you for the discussions of similarities and differences in GP life. Despite the different health systems, Norway’s being predominantly public with every citizen allocated a permanent GP, the patient-centred holistic approach to consultations seems to be the same for GPs on opposite sides of the world. My understanding is also that general practice and primary care have quite a strong standing in both countries.

I had several other clinic visits, courses and conferences lined up, but our stay in Melbourne has offered some dramatic surprises. First the devastating bushfire season in December and January, and now the national and international lockdown due to the current pandemic. In the beginning of July, we head back to Oslo, a few weeks earlier than planned. We will take with us many fond memories. Thank you for having me, and please be in touch if you are coming my way in the coming years.

- Katrina Tibballs