WONCA Working Party: Research


The WONCA Working Party on Research seeks to expand research in general practice/family medicine and welcomes interested family doctors to join.
Working Party on Research Member Bios 2021

2013 Policy statement

1. All University departments of FM / GP / PHC or equivalent institutions must support and engage in research.
2. All University departments of FM / GP / PHC or equivalent institutions must collaborate with community based practices to address relevant research questions for patient benefit and the advancement of the discipline through research.
3. All nations should prioritise FM / GP / PHC research and provide competitive but protected funding for this to take place.

Working Party meets in Rio, 2016.

Convenor / Chair

Prof Mehmet Akman (Turkey)

Email Convenor

Prof Mehmet Akman is general practitioner and professor working in the field of primary care. He has a family medicine background, received a master degree in public health and has an extensive experience as a tutor in under and post graduate medical education, primary care and educational research.

He is member of the board of Trustees of TAHEV (Turkish Foundation of Family Medicine). He was advisory board member of EFPC (European Forum for Primary Care) between 20013-2019 and is associate editor of Primary Health Care Research and Development journal.

His recent works are mainly about organization of primary care, multi-professional primary care research, chronic disease management at primary care level and post graduate training of family doctors. He is involved in international research and projects as national coordinator, advisor, or research coordinator.

He served as consultant for WHO (world health organization) Azerbaijan for assessment of primary care services and capacity building of healthcare professionals. He is the leading or co-author of more than 60 national and international articles published in peer reviewed scientific journals including primary care educational research and over 10 chapters in medical books.

He is the editor of WONCA endorsed book How to Do Primary Care Educational Research. His present position is professor of Family Medicine at Marmara University School of medicine Family Medicine Department, İstanbul, Turkey. 

Co-Convenor or other office bearers

Executive Members

Prof Felicity Goodyear-Smith (New Zealand) 
Past Chair

Chris van Weel
Panel project director

Bob Mash
African representative, Regional meeting coordinator & Research book co-editor

John Beasley
North American representative

Mehmet Ungan
European Regional meeting coordinator

Raman Kumar
South Asia representative & Regional meeting coordinator

Sairat Noknoy
Asia Pacific representative & Regional meeting coordinator

Lidia Caballero
Iberoamericana-CIMF representative & Regional meeting coordinator

Taghreed Farahat & Faisal Al Nasir
East Mediterranean representatives & Regional meeting coordinators

Christos Lionis
IFPCRN director

Vision and Mission of WONCA Working Party on Research


The vision of the WONCA Working Party on Research was revised in June 2013
Research is a core component of general practice / family medicine / primary health care training, scholarship and clinical practice in all nations.

DRAFT Policy statement from the WONCA Working Party on Research - June 2013

1. All University departments of FM / GP / PHC or equivalent institutions must support and engage in research.
2. All University departments of FM / GP / PHC or equivalent institutions must collaborate with community based practices to address relevant research questions for patient benefit and the advancement of the discipline through research.
3. All nations should prioritise FM / GP / PHC research and provide competitive but protected funding for this to take place.

Objectives of the WONCA Working Party on Research

(revised June 2013)
1. To promote all university departments of family medicine / general practice / primary health care (FM / GP / PHC) or equivalent institutions globally in supporting and engaging in research to provide essential evidence for informed clinical and health policy decision making.

2. To promote all nations and funding bodies in prioritising FM / GP / PHC research and providing it with competitive but protected funding.

3. To support countries and regions in the promotion and nurturing of FM / GP / PHC research in their respective nations, and the timely translation of its results into everyday clinical service.


Publications & Documents

How to do Primay Care Research
Felicity Goodyear-Smith, Robert Mash
First Published 2019. 330 pages

This practical ‘How To’ guide talks the reader step-by-step through designing, conducting and disseminating primary care research, a growing discipline internationally. The vast majority of health care issues are experienced by people in community settings, who are not adequately represented by hospital-based research. There is therefore a great need to upskill family physicians and other primary care workers and academics to conduct community-based research to inform best practice. Aimed at emerging researchers, including those in developing countries, this book also addresses cutting edge and newly developing research methods, which will be of equal interest to more experienced researchers.

International Perspectives on Primary Care Research.
Felicity Goodyear-Smith, Bob Mash on behalf of WONCA.
 2016. 255 Pages.

This book examines how the evidence base from primary care research can strengthen health care services and delivery, tackle the growing burden of disease, improve quality and safety, and increase a person-centred focus to health care. Demonstrating the inter-professional nature of the discipline, the book also features a section on cross-nation organisations and primary care networks supporting research. National perspectives are offered from researchers in 20 countries that form part of the World Organization of Family Doctors, providing case histories from research-rich to resource-poor nations that illustrate the range of research development and capacity building Editors: Felicity Goodyear-Smith, Bob Mash


  1. WP research 2012 report
  2. WP research update Aug 2011
  3. WP research 2011 report
  4. WP research update October 2010
  5. Minutes of meeting in Cancun 2010
  6. Report from meeting in Cancun 2010  


WONCA Working Party: Research Activity Plan for the 2016-18 Biennium

1 Comparative research around primary health care policy implementation
This will be a further development of the panel project comparing primary care systems, first proposed by Felicity Goodyear-Smith at WONCA World Cancun, and implemented by the WP-R since. We plan to progress from describing healthcare systems to exploring cross-country comparisons of how the primary care team operates within the community, connections with social determinants and inter-sectorial collaborations (eg social services). This will reference Starfield’s pillars of primary care (first-contact, continuity, comprehensive and coordinated care) for universal provision of affordable, accessible, equitable effective health services. Key members of WP-R will work with the Regional Presidents and convenors of WONCA conferences in their regions to arrange panels to present at these meetings. The panellists will be drawn from people identified as already attending these meetings who can represent their countries. Felicity Goodyear-Smith and Chris van Weel will help with the liaison and organisation of these events.

2 Research Methodology Book
Felicity Goodyear-Smith and Bob Mash will edit this book on how to do research for emerging researchers, which will serve as a companion to our International Perspectives of Primary Care Research. Taylor & Francis are interested in publishing it. We will try and negotiate a cheap sales price for the online version to make it accessible. It will look at research through the primary care lenses, with regard to the mix of research questions, approaches (eg patient and person-centred care, practice-based research), methods (including mixed quantitative and qualitative methodologies) and outcome measures (eg functioning, quality of life), and include how to get funding section. What makes research PC research? How is PC research taught in specific countries? The North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) Methodology Committee will also collaborate on and contribute to the book.

3 Scientific writing & research capacity-building workshops
Members of the WP-R will run scientific writing workshops at regional WONCA conferences. These will teach the generic skills needed to write research proposals, ethics applications, reports and papers. The first of these is planned for WONCA Europe in Prague 2017 (to be run by Mehmet Akman, Christos Lionis, Karen Flegg).

4 Research Policy Paper
The WP-R will prepare a policy paper on the importance of primary care research. This will be targeted specifically at WHO, and be a contemporary update of the Kingston Declaration. A group of members (including Bob Phillips, Chris van Weel, Obianma Onya , Felicity Goodyear-Smith) will work together to draft this. It will also draw on the SAPC statement Academic Primary Care - Now More Than Ever

   report on activities at WONCA Prague      


meeting in Cancun 2010


Most important activities 2007–2010 triennium  Key future activities for coming triennium
  1. Capacity building in workshops at regional meetings.
  2. Wrote paper on present status & future role of Family doctors through IFPCRN
  3. Initiation of work on implementing PCAT as assessment tool across different regions.
  1. Capacity building workshops at regional meetings.
  2. Follow-up meeting on Kingston recommendations
  3. Complete project on Access to Person-Centred care.

Relevant Resources

Plenary Panel project resource documents

A summary document on our WONCA Working Party on Research Plenary Panel Project for regional WONCA meetings. Also attached is a template for panellists to prepare their manuscripts and a template for them to prepare their presentation slides (plus a sample powerpoint presentation on NZ as an exemplar). Download page

How to write and get published (.ppt)

A powerpoint presentation and workshop given my members of the Working Party at numerous WONCA conferences.

Primary care research guide 2011

The Primary Care Research Guide is a compilation by Florian Stigler of training opportunities and other helpful resources for current or future researchers in the field of family medicine and primary care.

Related Projects

Brisbane Initiative
Pursuing advanced research training and the establishment of a future research leadership for primary care.
Read more here

The MINERVA Initiative
MINERVA stands for Montreal INitiative pour l’Education et Recherche Vocationale Académique. It is an acronym that represents a group of academic family physicians and trainees committed to exploring and promoting the role of combined vocational and research training to build research capacity and leadership in primary care.
Read more here