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PETTIGREW, Dr Luisa: WONCA Executive member 2013-16



Dr Luisa Pettigrew works as a family doctor/general practitioner in London. She studied medicine at Edinburgh University, Scotland (1997-2002). Whilst a medical student she became involved in the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations (IFMSA), and following her first year of residency training she undertook a Diploma in International Health at the National Institute of Health Carlos III in Madrid. Thereafter Luisa undertook her training to become a general practitioner in London, being awarded a Distinction in the final Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) examination. In addition during her training she undertook further qualifications in Family Planning & Sexual Health, Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Child health.

Luisa first became involved in WONCA in 2008. She was captivated by the power of WONCA to act as a forum for family doctors from diverse backgrounds to meet, exchange ideas and collaborate in order to further primary care both nationally and internationally. In particular she was inspired by the Vasco da Gama Movement, WONCA Europe's network for trainee and new family doctors, to which she was elected as an Executive Group member. During her tenure she coordinated the ‘Hippokrates’ international exchange programme, helping secure its first significant European Union funding grant and she helped extended collaborative links to young family medicine doctor organisations in other WONCA regions. In parallel in the UK she helped establish the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Junior International Committee to enable the future generation of General Practitioners in the UK to also engage in international activities that would further their education and training. Luisa has also contributed to activities of the RCGP International Committee and Academy of Medical Royal Colleges' International Forum.

With a growing interest in Global Health and Primary Care Luisa undertook a Master in Health Policy, Planning, and Financing (2010-2011) jointly awarded with Merit from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Her dissertation took her to Sri Lanka where she looked at the role of overseas medical examination accreditation programmes. Luisa has special interest in the role of incorporating Global Health streams into the curricula of health professionals and has published on the subject in various journals including the Lancet and British Journal of General Practice. She has also written chapters in a number of books for family medicine trainees, as well as contributed the 2013 revision of WONCA's Guidebook on the Contribution of Family Medicine to Improving Health Systems.

Throughout her career to date Luisa has taken time to undertaken voluntary work for various NGOs and health organisations in Argentina, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico and Mozambique. In addition she has undertaken work for the World Health Organization and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Luisa is aware that many health systems face financial challenges and that there are growing inequities worldwide, which are compounded by a mushrooming non-communicable disease epidemic and a global shortage of four million health workers. She believes that continuous, comprehensive, coordinated and person-centred primary care with a family doctor at the core of its team offers a solution, and that WONCA has the potential to help catalyse this through collaboration with patients, other primary care professionals, NGOs, policymakers, and international bodies such as the World Health Organization. Luisa hopes to help facilitate work towards this during her tenure as a Member at Large.

Luisa became a mother for the first time in May 2013. She is fluent in Spanish a result of a Spanish mother, Spanish speaking Scottish father, and Argentine partner.