In 1980, four years after the School of Clinical Medicine opened, Bernard Reiss and Roy Acheson (Foundation Chair in Community Medicine), convened a meeting of local GPs to gauge interest in forming a research group. At that time it was widely assumed that if the Univesity of Cambridge was to accept the case for a Department of General Practice, there was a need for appropriate, local academic activity amongst GPs. Whilst GPs were, at that time, providing a small, but important and growing, contribution to undergraduate teaching, they were not notably active in research. There had been individual successful researchers in the local GP community: (eg Morgan, RH. ), but it was generally accepted that coordinated effort was necessary to produce a step-change in activity. Elsewhere in the UK this was being achieved by the appointment of GPs to academic research posts.
So in Cambridge, a small group of keen potential researchers met, initially in the Department of Community Medicine, and then more convivially in members homes. Reasons why they joined and what they gained from membership can be found on linked pages from the lists below.
- Prof Roy Acheson 1921-2003 – http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article1130530.ece
- Noreen Caine – Research Associate, Department of Community Medicine
- Hugh King – GP, East Barnwell Health Centre, Cambridge
- Nigel Oswald – GP, East Barnwell Health Centre, Cambridge
- John Perry – GP, Hurst Park Avenue Practice, Cambridge
- Bernard Reiss 1925-1996. – GP, Newmarket Road, Cambridge – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-dr-bernard-reiss-1362927.html
- Jeffrie Strang – GP, Research Associate, Department of Community Medicine
- Ian Wallace – GP, Rookery Medical Practice, Newmarket.
- Stuart Warrender – GP, Mercheford House Surgery, March
- Tony White – GP, Rookery Medical Practice, Newmarket
This group was remarkably stable and also attracted new members including those listed below:
- Peter Bailey – GP, Red House Surgery, Cambridge
- Hilarie Bateman – Research Adviser, General Practice Unit, University of Cambridge
- John Benson – GP, 125 Newmarket Road, Cambridge
- Meg Birch (1945 – 2000) – GP, Cambridge http://www.bmj.com/content/322/7299/1430.full
- Robin Cartwright – GP, Mill Road, Cambridge
- Dennis Cox – GP, St Ives, Cambs
- Juliet Draper – GP, 125 Newmarket Road, Cambridge
- Arnold Fertig – GP Hurst Park Medical Practice, Cambridge
- Philippa Evans – GP, Huntingdon Road Surgery, Cambridge
- Michael Grande – GP, Firs House Surgery, Histon, Cambridge
- Tony Males – GP, 125 Newmarket Road, Cambridge
- Peter Niemczuk – GP, Mill Road, Cambridge
- Paul Paxton – GP, Lensfield Road Surgery, Cambridge
- Tony Pearson – GP, Woolpit, Suffolk
- Martin Roland – GP, 125 Newmarket Road, Cambridge
- Jonathan Silverman – GP, Linton Health Centre, Cambridge
- Jeremy Webb – GP, Newmarket, Suffolk
- Fiona Walter – GP, Cambridge
- Sally Wraight – GP, Firs House Surgery, Histon, Cambridge
After 18 years of meetings and with the appointment of the Foundation Professor of General Practice, the group, which was still meeting regularly in the evenings reviewed its future. Several members of the group were members of the department and it was felt that the focus for future research was properly directed and delivered from the department and our efforts should be made there. So the group ended with satisfaction though perhaps little note. It had been one of the factors in providing the environment for the academic ambitions of general practice, but most importantly had supported a group of GPs in developing their own knowledge and skill in research.