Melbourne Medical School General Practice and Primary Health Care Academic Centre 

Welcome to potential Academic Registrars

Do you have an interest in developing your skills in teaching, research or both? These year-long part-time posts allow you to engage in academic life, including learning administrative and computer skills, undertaking University based training in teaching, and leading a small research project.  These skills will enhance your clinical practice, and may lead you into an ongoing academic role if you really enjoy it.

All Registrars participate in the teaching program of the department, and are supported by experienced GP teachers to learn small group teaching skills, assessment and evaluation processes.  A senior academic supervisor provides guidance, feedback and mentorship throughout the year and assists in developing a research project plan. Involvement in this strongly research oriented department creates opportunities for learning how to write ethics applications, creating a feasible project plan, and developing presentation skills.

The Primary Care Research Unit in the Department of General Practice offers a variety of projects for Academic Registrars. Registrars can choose to join an existing research project, or work with a researcher on an area of interest. Look around the Department’s website for more information about our research and our researchers. We are happy to help you to develop a project of your own choice if we have a supervisor with similar interests.

To discuss potential research ideas, contact Associate Professor Marie Pirotta
Ph: 8344 9723 or E:


Academic Post – Previous Registrars

Dr Deepthi Iyer

Year completed: Current
Name: Dr Deepthi Iyer

Research project: To explore how technology can facilitate help-seeking for young people experiencing difficult dating relationships.
Supervisors: A/Prof Lena Sanci and A/Prof Kelsey Hegarty

I started my first academic registrar post in 2012 studying Abuse and associated risks in young people presenting to Australian General Practice. This project was inspired by a clinical post in a disadvantaged population where I frequently encountered young people with backgrounds of abuse and risk-taking behaviour. This was a cross-sectional study using data collected from the PARTY (Prevention And Risk-Taking in Young People) project. I presented work from this project at conferences in Melbourne and Sydney and am currently writing it up for publication.

Through my experience with this project my passion to contribute to young peoples’ health grew and led me to apply for a second academic post and enrol into a Masters of Philosophy. I wanted to talk to young people and not only analyse data so my current project on young people and difficult dating relationships is a qualitative study where I will be interviewing young people on their views of dating relationships and the role of technology.

Throughout both academic posts I have had the opportunity to be involved in the following teaching roles: running Semester 12 MBBS and MD Medical students tutorials, tutorial design, course material revision and subject coordination of a postgraduate nursing course on youth health, contribution to the Department of General Practice curriculum advisory group and internal ethics committee. The teaching component has been an excellent way to become immersed in academic life and broaden my skill set and also kept me up to date with what medical students are currently learning.
The academic post at the Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne has been a fantastic introduction and foundation to academic life.

The department is very friendly, supportive and encouraging of academic registrars’ work and this has led to many of us deciding to grow our academic careers beyond our GP registrar training time.




Year completed: 2012/2013
Name: Dr Sarah Latreille

Research project:  How to get a Tradie to Talk. With whom will young male TAFE students talk to about sexual health?
Supervisors: A/Prof Meredith Temple-Smith and A/Prof Marie Pirotta

I am so pleased I have completed an academic post, both for the experience it has provided and the opportunities it has created. Not only has the post enabled me to conduct my own research project and obtain teaching experience, but it has also facilitated networking within the research community which will be pivotal in my future career. Despite a slow start, my project has been successful - I finished data collection and have presented my findings at PHCRIS where I was awarded the AAAPC Best First Time Presenter. I will be presenting at GP13 and hope to have a paper published in a journal, such as AFP.  The Department of General Practice, The University of Melbourne, was an ideal place to complete an academic post both from a workplace and an academic perspective. The weekly research matters meetings where internal or visiting speakers present on various topics have been educational from a clinical, methodological and technical perspective. My supervisors, A/Prof Meredith Temple-Smith and A/Prof Marie Pirotta have been supportive, encouraging and always provided excellent guidance. The weekly Friday morning tea is an excellent way of enjoying some casual conversations about projects within the department and what colleagues are up to outside research. In regard to teaching, I have been involved with post graduate nursing subjects and medical student tutorials. I was subject co-ordinator a post graduate nursing subject, Immunisation and Travel Health, which involved liasing with students, updating the course content and submitting the course to the Department of Health for accreditation as a nurse immuniser course. I also took General practice tutorials for the MD students. Both of these teaching opportunities enabled me to develop my teaching, writing and clinical skills. I would highly recommend an academic post at The University of Melbourne to any registrar who is, or thinks they may, be interested in research or teaching.



GPET Registrar Research Prize. 2013.

PHC First Presenter Award. 2013.


Dr Andrew Pennington

Year completed: 2012/2013
Name: Dr Andrew Pennington

Research project:  The role of the GP in the follow up care of women with a history of Gestational Diabetes
Supervisors: Prof Doris Young and Prof James Dunbar

Completing an academic registar post at Melb Uni was a fantastic and challenging experience that has opened my eyes to the primary care research world, and given me many opportunities to meet fantastic academics and connect with a diverse range of people and projects. It has been a privilege to be a part of it.
As part of the teaching component, I was privileged to tutor Semester 12 medical students of the MBBS program, and also take a PCCB year 2 tutor group of the MD program. Along with my academic registrar colleagues, we were involved in developing a tutorial each for this program. I was also able to be the subject co-ordinator for two nursing subjects, which involved updating the resources, overseeing the subject and marking assignments.
My research component allowed me to learn about qualitative research. I was involved in interviewing 34 people (GP and patients) over the course of my term and learnt skills of interviewing and analysing the data of these interviews. This has allowed me to present my research at a couple of conferences and hopefully to publish a couple of papers as well. These research skills have been invaluable toward my development as a doctor and I believe have helped shape me into a better GP.
Lastly, I could not imagine a much better collegiate environment to undertake an academic post. My supervisor Prof Doris Young and the academic staff were very supportive and helpful. A/Prof Marie Pirotta is a dedicated mentor to the academic registrars and our debrief sessions were very valuable. My colleagues were fantastic. All it all, a highly worthwhile and recommended experience.


Dr Joel Ang

Year completed: 2012/2013
Name: Dr Joel Ang

Research project: AMAC 20 Patient Survey: An Audit of Medical Acupuncture in Australia.
Supervisors: A/Prof Marie Pirotta

Undertaking the academic registrar term introduced me to the exciting world of research and teaching in general practice. I had the opportunity to work with a truly wise and supportive supervisor, A/Prof Marie Pirotta, and a great and friendly department to develop a research project from scratch and see it through to completion.  Additionally, I was able to undertake teaching and curriculum development in a meaningful manner which has not only helped me develop a new skill set, but has also led me to be rigorous in exploring the evidence base for treatments I provide to my patients in clinical practice. The academic term has brought me in contact with many great researchers and medical educators from whom I can continue to learn from, and has provided me the opportunity to attend and present my work at conferences. There was a great team atmosphere among the other academic registrars I worked with, and I benefitted from the extended discussions we had about each other’s projects as well as teaching experiences. I am certainly grateful for the opportunity I have had as an academic registrar at The University of Melbourne and look forward to having an ongoing involvement in research throughout my career as a doctor.

Dr Deepa Daniel

Year completed: 2010/2011
Name: Dr Deepa Daniel

Research project: Vitamin D and Fibromyalgia, is there an association?

Deepa had 3 roles in her Academic Post. She conducted a systematic review for her research component. She is in the process of trying to get this paper published. Her teaching involved Semester 12 medical student tutoring. She was also involved in medical editing at the Australian Family Physician. Deepa is currently a Medical Educator with VMA GP Training.


Recent Publication

Daniels D, Pirotta M. Fibromyalgia: should we be testing and treating for vitamin D deficiency? Aust Fam Phys. 2011: 40 (9): 712 – 716

Dr Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis

Year completed: 2010/2011
Name: Dr Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis

Research Project: Stepping Up: A pilot program for insulin initiation in general practice

My academic registrar term opened my eyes to the scope of work available to a general practitioner. I was able to work as part of a team in my research project, teaching and curriculum development. The administration of my research project helped me not only to gain research and writing skills, but also gave me additional clinical skills and confidence in an area of special interest to me. I had the opportunity to meet colleagues with similar interests by being one of four academic registrars in the department and had the opportunity to travel to Darwin and Sydney to attend conferences. The academic term has opened up opportunities for me to continue working within the department and to further explore an academic career.

Jo-Anne has been granted a further 12 months on her Academic Post.



NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship. 2013-14.

Registrar Research Prize. 2012.

Manski-Nankervis J. Gordon P Castles Scholarship, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne. 2012.

Dr Edward Vergara

Year completed: 2010/2011
Name: Dr Edward Vergara

Research Project: Testing for Chlamydia: Young men’s attitudes and behaviours.

I used my Academic Post as an experimental year. I had always been curious to see if it was possible to combine clinical work and academia. This post gave me the opportunity to do that. I was able to learn a lot about both teaching and research and now aim to have both components combined with my clinical practice.

My research topic had to be what I was interested in. The research had to be on something that would impact my clinical work as a GP. My supervisor, Assoc. Prof. Meredith Temple-Smith was very supportive and helpful in guiding me develop a project that did this. I have enjoyed the post and have been granted a further 12 months to continue the research and expand further in my teaching experience. I would recommend this post to all registrars.
Dr Paul Grinzi

Year completed: 2004/2005
Name: Dr Paul Grinzi

Research project: The preparedness of Australian general practice registrars to respond to alcohol issues.

My academic years provided me with a wide range of opportunities and experiences that really opened my eyes to what was involved as an academic GP. I loved my role in teaching students, registrars and other GPs and it has continued to be an enjoyable component of my current workload.

Project completed: 2010.
Dr Ruth McNair

Year completed: 1998/1999
Name: Dr Ruth McNair

I completed two years as an Academic Registrar, having already completed my GP training and worked in rural Victoria for a few years. I tried out academic life largely to satisfy my need to learn how to teach more effectively, something that I love doing. Twelve years and a PhD later I am still here, contributing to teaching and learning and research in primary care. The academic roles are stimulating, rewarding and an excellent balance to the clinical role as a GP.

Research projects: Multiple including projects in inter-professional education, patient-doctor communication, lesbian health and lesbian parenting.


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