General Practice

Advancing the role of general practice in holistic patient care

Every person needs a general practitioner to ensure their healthcare is person-centred, comprehensive, evidence-based, continuing and coordinated. Every doctor requires generalist knowledge and skills to ensure every person receives this holistic care.

The Division of General Practice is a group of clinical academics and practising GPs, dedicated to the acquisition of this knowledge and skills in centralised teaching and community-based placements. We pride ourselves on providing quality medical education, encompassing communication and consultation skills, preventative medicine, early detection of serious illness, and the management of common acute illness, undifferentiated illness and chronic disease.

Our researchers generate and translate evidence into the best practice of primary care. Currently, we focus on research in the areas of quality of life and patient-centred medicine, mental health, health service delivery and medical education.

Our staff are closely involved with professional bodies such as the Australian Medical Association, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, WA Primary Health Alliance, the Australian Association of Academic Primary Care, Postgraduate Medical Council of WA, and non-government organisations including the Primary Health Care Research Information Service and The Cancer Council.

RACGP      AAAPC logo          GPSN Logo

Course of interest

General Practice teaches in all three clinical years of the four-year medical course at UWA.



Evidence suggests the health of a population is most impacted by the number of general practitioners in any area and the quality of its primary healthcare provision. Research that is driven by and informs primary healthcare practice therefore has huge potential to improve healthcare outcomes.

Patient-centred care
Our research in this area focuses on how placing the patient at the centre of the doctor-patient relationship and the healthcare pathway can lead to better health outcomes. We also explore what leads to a better quality of life and subjective health experience for patients, including for patient groups with specific unmet needs e.g. mothers with serious mental health problems, and patients with medically unexplained symptoms such as chronic pain.
Health Services Research
The research group CHASM (Collaborative Health Analysis and Statistical Modelling) is a collaboration of the UWA Division of General Practice, Mathematics and Statistics, and Earth Sciences and uses the Western Australian Data Linkage System (WADLS) to analyse the health outcomes and drivers of demand for the provision of equitable and accessible healthcare in the community. The work of CHASM is directed and funded by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer for the WA Department of Health and leverages WA Data Collections to deliver the best possible health outcomes and service delivery for the West Australian community.
Medical Education
Medical Education is an area with a significant need for a stronger evidence base. We need to know if our medical student teaching is effective and translates into good clinical practice. We also need to know how we can best encourage resilience and good mental health in our future doctors. Active research projects in this area include clinical assessment standardisation, implementation of mindfulness training for medical students, and reducing bullying in medical schools.
Medical Humanities

Medical Humanities is an interdisciplinary field of medicine that addresses the association between medicine and the humanities (arts, music, sociology, philosophy). The Division of General Practice in the School of Medicine currently leads the Medical Humanities Network, which is a virtual network of researchers throughout The University of Western Australia interested in the medical humanities. Current collaborations between the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education include work on “Exploring Communicating Good Health and Wellbeing: Promotion, Advocacy, Resilience" funded by the Worldwide Universities Network.

Our staff

Contact Associate Professor Nahal Mavaddat

General Practice offers a number of opportunities for postgraduate research training, including the Master of Clinical Research program, academic rotations for the RACGP Fellowship Pathway trainees, and the supervision of PhD students.