The Primary Care Research Network (pcRn) is a new initiative to encourage and support high-quality research in family medicine in Singapore. It helps clinicians to set up studies and provides opportunities for its members to participate in collaborative research projects.
Traditionally, research has taken place in teaching hospitals and specialised centres. However, we increasingly recognise that such research does not always address the questions that are important in family medicine: management of minor illness, preventive health care, multi-morbidity, and organisation of healthcare. Such topics have to be investigated in the ‘real world’ setting in which we work.
Research can improve service delivery and the health of our patients, while at the same time benefitting professionals. Participating in research encourages us to reflect on our practice and explore questions arising from patient care. Developing new skills, discussing ideas and collaborating with colleagues in projects is fun, and provides another dimension to our professional lives.