Welcome from Head of Department

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the winter edition newsletter!

Primary care is again flat out as we face a winter of Covid Flu and other lurgies, not to mention pent up demand for those issues that were put on the back burner after lockdown. In this context we give extra thanks to the general practices for their continued support in teaching our medical students and collaborating with us in research. It is because of your invaluable involvement we can inspire more medical students to enter general practice and support research that will make advances in primary care practice for the benefit of the community’s health.

We have several exciting research projects and educational events coming up that you may be interested in joining or learning more about in this newsletter. There is also an update on the MiND study and a new Maze Phase  podcast about the health needs of kids in out-of-home care. If you look after adolescents and you haven’t already come across our podcast series by Dr Bianca Forrester ‘The Maze Phase’ give yourself a treat and have a listen to these wonderful insights on caring for young people from mental health issues to period pains and more: https://medicine.unimelb.edu.au/school-structure/general-practice/engagement/the-maze-phase-podcast

In this edition we are excited to congratulate Honorary A/Prof Chris Hogan being named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2022. Congratulations also to Honorary Dr Magdalena Simonis on her appointment as AMA Federal Council Rep for General Practice.

We are also looking forward to Prof Richard Hobbs and Prof Michael Kidd’s visit on 25 July. Professor Richard Hobbs, Head of Primary Care Health Sciences and Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the UK’s University of Oxford, will focus on the implications of impactful pandemic research, much of which was led by the University of Oxford, particularly the national priority research from Oxford Primary Care.  Professor Michael Kidd, Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Professor of Primary Care Reform at the Australian National University, will consider an Australian perspective on the role of primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are also pleased to introduce TorchRecruit, the first initiative backed by the University of Melbourne’s pre-seed investment. TorchRecruit uses innovative technology to accelerate recruitment for clinical trials by automatically identifying eligible patients from general practice. This increases participant diversity, saves time and speeds access to new medications and treatments that have been trialled with the populations we see in primary care.

Identifying, preventing and managing chronic disease in general practice can be challenging. In this issue, The Future Health Today team explains how they use sophisticated algorithms to more easily identify those at risk and outlines the types of support, guidance and targeted care recommendations that can be provided. If you are looking for better ways of identifying patients at risk of chronic disease and would like to access this new software, the Future Health Today team would be delighted to hear from you.

I hope you enjoy reading these and other news from our Department and hope you stay warm and well over the winter months.

Best regards,