CL in General Practice
Dr Tim Holt (2013)
Pathway to a Clinical Lectureship
Following completion of my clinical training as a GP I became increasingly involved in academic activities and completed a PhD at the University of Warwick in 2010. I was then appointed as NIHR Clinical Lecturer at Oxford in 2011. My research ideas are very much at the ‘applied’ end of the spectrum and are inspired by my clinical experiences during routine care. My PhD investigated the potential and limitations of routinely-collected primary care data to identify those at risk of cardiovascular disease.
What does the work involve?
As NIHR CL I spend half my life in a busy general practice and half in the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at Oxford. I am a generalist clinician and also have varied research interests. Current projects that I am leading include a large cluster randomised trial of a software tool for recognising patients with atrial fibrillation eligible for oral anticoagulants (AURAS-AF); a pilot trial of corticosteroid injection for shoulder pain (RCT2); and a project to derive an artificial neural network algorithm for recognition of diabetes risk in the primary care environment.
I am the GP Advisor to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) and visit their headquarters at the MHRA in London each month. Through this role, I have worked with departmental colleagues to negotiate a licence arrangement making the CPRD database available not only to our department but to the whole of Oxford University. Those interested in using this data source are welcome to contact me to find out more about the funding requirements.
I also do a small amount of teaching, which I very much enjoy. My clinical interest is Diabetes and I teach this to Oxford undergraduates as well as contributing to Masters programmes on Research methods.
I would say that the CL post is ideal for the post-doctoral clinical academic who needs protecting from too much administrative responsibility, to build a personal portfolio of research outputs. This is what I have concentrated on so far during my current post at Oxford. Despite this, time is limited and both of my roles (clinical and research) would benefit from more of my time…
Oxford is the ideal environment for my research, with a thriving Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. We are part of the National School for Primary Care Research, a collaboration of eight universities within the National Institute of Health Research. The CL post has enabled me to combine this experience with clinical practice, to the benefit of both.