Immediate Past President

Prof Michael Kidd AM (Australia)

Michael Kidd served as the President of the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) from 2013-2016, and is now the immediate past president.

Michael is an Australian general practitioner/family doctor and a primary care researcher, medical educator and medical leader. He has served two terms as president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

See Michael's columns and speeches (blog) from his term as President
Michael graduated with honours from The University of Melbourne in 1983. After internship at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, he enrolled in the postgraduate Family Medicine Training Program of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. His postgraduate training included experience in rural and urban general practice and special skills training in obstetrics, child health and mental health. He was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, in 1989. While training in family medicine, he also enrolled in public health research training at Flinders University, graduating with the Postgraduate Diploma in Community Child Health.

Michael joined the Department of General Practice and Community Medicine at Monash University, in Melbourne, in 1988, as an academic registrar. He was subsequently appointed as a senior lecturer, in 1990. His research on using computer-based learning to address challenges in medical education resulted in the award of the degree of Doctor of Medicine, by Monash University, in 1995.

In the early 1990s, Michael commenced work as a general practitioner with the Gay Men’s Health Clinic of the Victorian AIDS Council, providing community-based care to people with HIV/AIDS. Since that time, he has continued to work part-time as a general practitioner with a special interest in the primary care management of HIV/AIDS.

In 1995, Michael was appointed to the Chair of General Practice at The University of Sydney, where he also served as head of the Department of General Practice from 1998-2009.

In 2009, Michael was appointed as the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University, based in Adelaide with responsibility for the School of Medicine, School of Nursing and Midwifery, and School of Health Sciences, and the university’s health and medical research centres and teaching facilities in South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Victoria. Among the developments he has led during his time at Flinders University are: the establishment of a new medical program based in Darwin; the establishment of new research centres in Aboriginal health, based in Adelaide and Alice Springs; and the implementation of new courses in optometry, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

Michael’s journey with WONCA commenced in 1989 when he attended his first WONCA world conference, which was held that year in Jerusalem. At the 1989 world conference, Michael demonstrated the computer-based educational programs he had developed for family doctors as well as the research that his team was conducting on the early introduction of electronic medical records into Australian general practices. Following the 1989 conference, he was invited by WONCA to organise a demonstration of computer-based resources for family medicine at the next WONCA world conference, which was held in Vancouver, in 1992. This demonstration was repeated at the WONCA world conference, in Hong Kong, in 1995, where Michael also delivered an invited plenary address on the future role of information technology in family medicine, and where he was invited to form the WONCA working party on Informatics, which he chaired until 2007.

Michael was elected as Member-at-Large of the WONCA world executive, in 2004, and again in 2007. As Member-at-Large he also served as WONCA Honorary Treasurer, from 2007-2010; as WONCA liaison person to the World Health Organization, from 2005-2010; and as chair of the newly formed WONCA Working Party on Education, from 2005-2010.

Michael was elected as WONCA president-elect at the WONCA world council meeting in 2010, and became president at the WONCA world conference in Prague, in June 2013, serving in this role until the WONCA world conference in Rio de Janeiro in November 2016.

Michael has an international reputation as a primary care researcher, and is Professor of Global Primary Care at Flinders University. He currently leads research projects on the safety of e-health innovations in general practice; on community-based telehealth, providing general practice support for palliative care and aged care in the home; on the management of comorbid physical and mental illness in the elderly; and in the primary care management of HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections. He was the Australian leader of the international Linnaeus research collaboration into safety in primary care. He has served for ten years as a member of the International Research Advisory Board of the United Kingdom Biobank Research Project, based at Oxford University. He is the author of over 160 research publications in peer-reviewed medical journals.

Michael has international experience as a medical educator, working in many countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. He led the education and research activities of The University of Sydney in Timor-Leste, from 2006-2009. Since 2008, he has been an adviser to World Health Organization programs on primary care, family medicine, mental health and chronic disease prevention and management initiatives, especially in low and middle-income nations. In 2007, he was based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where he researched aspects of primary care in developing nations and conducted fieldwork in Africa, India, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. During 2008, he worked as a clinical mentor assisting in the establishment of new primary care-based HIV testing and treatment services, in rural areas in the Limpopo region of South Africa. In 2012, he served as a consultant to the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, on the criminalisation of HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission. In 2015 he worked with the World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization on the development of the Primary Health Care Performance Initiative. He has served as a consultant on primary care to several national governments, including Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, New Zealand, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam.

Michael is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Case Reports, the world’s first international medical journal devoted to case reports from all medical disciplines. He is co-editor of the textbook Health Informatics: an Overview, which has been published in English, Spanish and Portuguese; and he wrote the chapters on “HIV/AIDS” and “Computers in the Consultation” in the Oxford Textbook of Primary Care Medicine. His book on health promotion, Save your life and the lives of those you love – your GP’s six step guide to good health, was published by Allen and Unwin, in 2007, with a second edition published in 2011, and subsequent publication in Bahasa Indonesian. His book on the health and well being of doctors and medical students, First do no harm – how to be a resilient doctor in the 21st century, was published by McGraw Hill, in 2009. He edited a new edition of the WONCA Guidebook on The Contribution of Family Medicine to Improving Health Systems, published by Radcliffe, in 2013, with a foreword by the WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, and with translations in Vietnamese, Portuguese and Slovak. His latest book, Family Medicine: the Classic Papers, was published by Taylor and Francis in 2016.

Michael has served as an advisor to the Australian Government since 1995. His current government appointments include council member of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), member of the Australian Government’s Health Care Home Implementation Advisory Group, and chair of the South Australian Government’s Clinical Training Council. Among other roles, he was previously chair of the Australian Government’s Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections (2009-2014), member of the Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Advisory Council (2012-2015), member of the Australian Government’s Medical Training Review Panel (2005-2013), member of the Privacy Advisory Committee of the Australian Information Commissioner (2010-2015), director of the Australian Government company, General Practice Education and Training (2011-2014) and chair of the South Australian Government’s Health and Medical Research Advisory Council, (2010-2014).

Michael serves as a board member of several companies including beyondblue (which is responsible for public education programs in mental health in Australia); Therapeutic Guidelines Limited (a not for profit publisher of resources promoting the safe use of medications); GPEx (Australian Government-funded general practice training provider in South Australia), the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation, Flinders Fertility, and FCD Health (primary care service provider in the Northern Territory). From 2008-2010, he was the chair of the advocacy organisation, Doctors for the Environment Australia. He is a member of the board of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Foundation and a member of the advisory board of the Lowitja Institute (which conducts research into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health). He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Michael has been involved in many voluntary community activities including leading the medical teams for the gymnastics and basketball venue at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, and being a regular health commentator on Australia’s national youth radio station, JJJ, appearing as “Medical Michael”. He is the Patron of the Australian General Practice Students Network, a national organisation which supports medical students with an interest in a future career in general practice, and Patron of General Practice Registrars Australia, the national organisation for junior doctors training to become specialists in general practice in Australia.

Michael has been awarded honorary fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners (United Kingdom), the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, the Hong Kong College of Family Physicians, the Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia and the College of General Practitioners of Sri Lanka, life membership of the General Practitioners’ Association of Nepal, and honorary membership of the Romanian National Society of Family Medicine, the Slovak Society of General Practice Medicine, and the Armenian Psychiatric Association. In 2007, he received the Australian Medical Association Award for Excellence in Health Care in recognition of his contribution to primary care, medical education and the health care of disadvantaged people in Australia. In 2014, he was awarded the Rose Hunt Medal, the highest award of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2009, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to medicine and education in the areas of general practice and primary health care and through a range of professional organisations.

As WONCA President Michael was a strong vocal advocate for family medicine around the world, and the role of family doctors in strengthening primary health care in each nation and striving for universal health care coverage through high quality clinical service provision, education and training, and research.

Immediate Past President