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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 283-289

Promoting Clinical Research in General Practice

Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki, Finland

Correspondence Address:
Pertti Kekki
Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki, Mannerheimintie 172, FIN-00300 Helsinki
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Context: Research is a critical component to the continued growth and development of the quality of primary care. The common rules and values concerning research apply to general practice in the same way as to other specialties. Research should be an integral part. Objectives: To identify and discuss the elements and requirements needed in the promotion of research in general practice. Discussion: At the university level, undergraduate education is a start, but a university department of general practice must have responsibilities in postgraduate education. Academic departments of general practice must be adequately resourced to be able to conduct credible research and to organize training in research and research methods. They should provide advisory services and guidance to support the activities of motivated GP researchers in the field and also help them to get into contact with other researchminded clinicians. If GPs want to develop their knowledge and skills in research, they must be willing to pay for them in terms of time and effort, which are away from something else. In return, the service organizations and governments benefiting from these increased skills must be willing to create a system which recognizes the value of the activities and aspirations of these general practitioners by creating new career structures and bonus mechanisms. These incentives and value systems must be accepted by the profession. Conclusions: High quality applied clinical research can successfully be done in primary care. It needs a supportive climate, motivated researchers and adequate funding.

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