"Building research capacity though networks and leadership"

"The future of primary care research"

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Mieke van Driel's picture
Prof Mieke van Driel
Head, Discipline of General Practice
The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

I was trained in The Netherlands as a General Practitioner in 1989 and in tropical medicine in 1990. From 1990 to 1994 I worked for Médecins Sans Frontières in primary health care assistance projects in Asia and Africa and subsequently obtained a Masters degree in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1995. Having had a taste of the improtance of research to improving clinical care and access to health I embarked on an academic career at the University of Ghent in Belgium in 1998. My PhD thesis on the implementation of evidence in clinical care, explored the medical, contextual and policy related aspects of scientific evidence with special focus on rational use of antibiotics. I am passionate about improving access and better use of evidence in clinical practice and continue to work in the field of wide range of common presentations in primary care, including respiratory infections. Over the years I have developed a special interest and focus on vulnerable groups in our society, such as the Indigenous and migrant populations in Australia, many of whom could benefit even more from already available evidence and better access to care.
Following participation in the 2007 BI cohort, I moved to Australia with my family in 2008 where I took up the chair of General Practice and role of Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine at Bond University, Queensland. Since November 2011 I am head of the Discipline of General Practice at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. My role as coordinator of the Global and Community Medicine Courses in the preclinical curriculum, allows me to use my own experiences as a "global doctor" to introduce and inspire students to their roles in an increasingly global health environment.

My research interests cover all aspects of implementing evidence in clinical practice, which includes collecting, appraising and summarising research in systematic reviews and guidelines, translating this evidence into a clinical context and exploring ways to better intergrate evidence into day to day patient care. I have established a collaboration with lab-based scientists exploring immunological biomarkers for chronic fatigue syndrome and related auto-immune disorders. I take part in an Australian study on implementation of prevention guidelines and am part of a special interest group in pharmacoepidemiology. As an editor of the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group, I coach medical students and other colleagues in conducting systematic reviews. I teach African Family Medicine registrars in a research methods course in Kenya, Eastern Africa.

Research collaborations with old and new BI colleagues and especially with my “BI-OZ” colleagues have resulted in exciting joint projects (e.g. a longitudinal cohort study of GP registrars’ consulting and prescribing behaviour) and publications (e.g. reporting of socio-economic status in clinical trials).

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