Featured Doctor


New Zealand - WONCA WP Research

Prof Felicity Goodyear-Smith takes over as Chair of the WONCA Working Party on Research in Rio in November 2016

What work you do now?

I am academic head of the Department of General Practice & Primary Health Care, University of Auckland. My role includes overseeing the general practice teaching of our medical students and ensuring they have high quality community placements (over 1200 a year), so that the next generation of young doctors are inspired to actively choose this as a career. My research interests are screening for, and intervening with, mental health and life-style issues; immunisation; and evaluating our educational initiatives. I am also Chair of the International Committee of the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG).

What other interesting things have you done?

General practice has provided me with many interesting roles including ship’s surgeon, full-time GP, family planning and sexual health doctor, police and prison doctor, forensic physician, and founding editor (of the Journal of Primary Health Care). I have been able to work with disadvantaged people in Wales, Jamaica and New Zealand. It has given me the opportunity to write many papers and books and I am grateful for the many doors my career has opened for me.

What are your interests outside work?

I love exploring new places both in New Zealand and overseas, especially on foot or by kayak. My husband and I have a small campervan to travel around New Zealand, with our kayaks on the roof and bikes on the back. It is so comfortable I can even happily work in it, especially catching up on my writing.

What is your involvement in WONCA and your hopes as Chair of the WP on Research?

I am the incoming Chair of the WONCA Working Party on Research (WP-R). I recently co-edited a book (with Professor Bob Mash), International Perspectives of Primary Care Research, on behalf of WP-R. In 2013 I also instigated panel discussions on international comparison of primary care implementation in different nations, with the provision of a standardised format and templates at WONCA regional meetings. Eight of these now have taken place, and Prof Chris van Weel has also led two workshops at NAPCRG on international comparison on primary health care policy implementation. We will explore the continuation or modification and further development of this initiative at our Rio meeting. We will also explore the possibility of a further edited book.

I hope that my dual roles as Chair of WP-R and of the NAPCRG International Committee with strengthen ties between the two organisations. I see the role of the WP-R as fostering primary care research and building research capacity, especially in resource-poor countries. One way to achieve this is provision of workshops on scientific writing, the basis of all research proposals and disseminations. I would like to provide opportunities for our diverse WP members to be actively engaged in achieving our goal.