Research, is it necessary for the GP?

  • Prof G Sam Fehrsen Medunsa
Keywords: Physicians, family, Research, Philosophy, medical


As General Practitioners we need to know enough about research to be able to read the medical literature with discernment. We further need to do our own research if we wish the best for our patients and discipline. We need to make up our own minds about the literature and what is optimal for our patients as we are the only people who see our kind of patients. The practice profiles and populations of other disciplines often vary greatly from ours. Research is born out of excitement about, or some challenge, or difficulty we face. It can only flourish if we go on to use our imagination in a disciplined way. There is a wide range of research strategies, from those of the controlled experiment through to that of the participant observer. Very few general practitioners lack ideas to be researched but we can all benefit from extensive help from epidemiologists and methodologists before we actually embark on a study.

Author Biography

Prof G Sam Fehrsen, Medunsa
BA MBChB MFGP Department of Family Medicine