Primary Care Investigators, Clinicians, Patients and Community Members Reflect on NAPCRG’s 50 Years of Leadership and Service
A team of primary care investigators, clinicians, learners, patients, and community members reflected on the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) as it passed a 50-year milestone at its 2022 meeting. NAPCRG was started in 1972 by a small group of general practice researchers in the US, Canada, and the UK. It has evolved into an international, interprofessional, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational group devoted to improving health and health care through primary care research. The authors of the special report write that NAPCRG provides a nurturing home to researchers and teams working in partnership with individuals, families, and communities. The organization builds upon enduring values to create partnerships, advance research methods, and nurture a community of contributors. NAPCRG has made foundational contributions, including identifying the need for primary care research to inform practice. It also has made contributions to practice-based research networks; qualitative and mixed-methods research; community-based participatory research; patient safety; practice transformation; and partnerships with patients and communities. Landmark documents produced by NAPCRG members have helped define classification systems for primary care; responsible research with communities; and the central role of primary care in health care systems, Members have also created opportunities to revitalize generalist practice and shared strategies to build the future of family medicine. The authors argue that the future of health and health care depends upon strengthening primary care and primary care research with stronger support, infrastructure, training, and workforce. New technologies offer opportunities to advance research, enhance care, and improve outcomes. The authors assert that stronger partnerships can empower primary care research with patients and communities. These partnerships can also increase commitments to diversity and quality care for all.
What We Know: The discipline of primary care emerged in the 1970s as a response to the need for personal generalist doctors to care for patients, regardless of their medical or health problems. A group of pioneering primary care practitioners teamed with colleagues, including early researchers in general internal medicine, pediatrics, nursing, epidemiology, and behavioral sciences, to create a new organization devoted to research in primary care.
What This Report Adds: With the formation of NAPCRG, the organization and its members have been guided for over 50 years by enduring core values including building partnerships, innovating research methods, and nurturing a diverse community of contributors. The authors assert that NAPCRG can help primary care move forward with foundational values, interdisciplinary teams, diverse voices, community partnerships, critical thinking, rigorous methods, clinical experience, and “audacious” imagination.
Primary Care Research: Looking Back and Moving Forward With Reflections on NAPCRG’s First 50 Years
William R. Phillips, MD, MPH, et al
Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Pre-embargo article link (Link expires at 5 p.m. EDT Sept. 25, 2023)
The Annals of Family Medicine