Oxford Graduate Peter Gill wins Dr. Barbara Starfield Award
It has not been easy returning to my final year of medical school in Canada after four years at Oxford, completing a DPhil in Primary Health Care and working closely with the CEBM. The intellectually stimulating environment in Oxford is hard to describe and to emulate. My search to find the ideal research question shifted to exams, case logs, reviewing pathophysiology, and completing applications for postgraduate training positions.
However, I recently had the opportunity to dip back into Oxford life at the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) 41st Annual Meeting in Ottawa, Canada. I attended to present the final results from my doctoral thesis (developing paediatric quality indicators for UK general practice) and was selected as the recipient of the Dr. Barbara Starfield Award. This award, named after one of the most famous primary care clinicians, was awarded for the best completed research project by a trainee.
Dr. Starfield, an American paediatrician and primary care advocate, sadly passed away in 2011. She left an incredibly legacy, inspiring many generations of clinical and academic leaders advocating the importance and vital role of primary care. To say that being selected for an award named after Dr. Starfield is humbling is an understatement.
In Ottawa, I also had the chance to re-connect with many of my Oxford and UK-based colleagues. It was fantastic to catch up, hear about the new developments, pick each other brains about research questions, talk about future collaborations, and work on unfinished projects.
Having the chance to attend NAPCRG, and receive this award named after one of my idols both as a researcher and clinician, gave me the necessary injection of enthusiasm to return to clinical medicine with renewed vigour. Balancing a future career as a clinician-scientist will no doubt be challenging but every now and again you are reminded that it is possible. I thank NAPCRG for this award, and believe its impact on me reaffirms the importance of acknowledging trainees.