Academic Registrar awarded prestigious MACH Track program position

Over the years, Australian doctors have changed lives through health and medical research. Fiona Stanley is a public health doctor, epidemiologist and an Australian of the Year who discovered that folate supplements prevent birth defects. Barry Marshall is a physician and microbiologist who won a Nobel Prize for showing that a bacterium that can be treated with simple antibiotics is a key cause of preventable peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. 

However, by contrast with other countries, Australia has lacked a clear pathway to train the next Fiona Stanley or Barry Marshall. Indeed, the demands of training and for delivering increasingly complex clinical service have never been greater. Without a pathway through which young doctors in Australia can pursue training in research in parallel with postgraduate clinical training, we can expect a future dearth of senior doctors capable of improving healthcare through research. The certain result is that patients will continue to suffer unmet medical need in the long term. 

MACH-Track is a new program that allows promising recently-qualified doctors to integrate career development in research, including a PhD, with completion of postgraduate specialist or generalist training. This exciting new scheme is a pilot for medical workforce development that will ensure that our nation has the research-active clinical innovators it needs to ensure a healthy future for all Australians.

Dr Brent Venning has been selected to join the inaugural cohort of five registrars.  He is a General Practice Registrar with a background in public health and research interests in the early recognition and diagnosis of cancer in primary care. In 2021 Brent will be undertaking a discrete choice experiment relating to polygenic cancer risk scores in primary care, with Professor Jon Emery and the Cancer in Primary Care Research Group at the University of Melbourne, after which he will commence his PhD.