Table 2

Summary points

• Primary care needs a strong knowledge base to provide the best quality care and respond to the increasing demands being made of it.

• Investment in primary care research capacity has produced innovative research approaches and relevant practical research that addresses the concerns of practitioners and patients, in a cost-effective manner, although less is known of the effect on overall research output.

• The growing strength of primary care research means it can spearhead a revitalisation of academic medicine. Research leadership is needed to maintain the focus and build on the strengths of academic primary care to help create a sustainable research base and a thriving research culture.

• Critical areas of focus are engaging undergraduate students into primary care research, retaining strong links with practice and communities, strengthening interdisciplinary and collaborative research, building flexible career paths for primary care researchers and creating structures for measuring and reporting output.

Furler et al. BMC Family Practice 2008 9:52   doi:10.1186/1471-2296-9-52

Open Data