Dr Kylie Vuong undertook an academic post during her GP training and is now a Lecturer in Primary Care at the University of New South Wales School of Public Health and Community Medicine, as well as a practising GP.
Why did you decide to pursue an academic post during your GP training?
When doing my GP training I was also doing a Masters at Sydney Uni. I had learnt a bit about research, research methods, contextualising results and using them for clinical practice.
When the opportunity arose for an academic post I thought – great let’s do it!
It meant I could put what I’d learnt into practice. It was an opportunity to build evidence around what I was doing as a GP and develop better ways to support my patients.
What was your research project about?
My project was called ‘Feasibility of Tailored Skin Cancer Prevention in General Practice’. I was hoping to identify whether general practice intervention affects sun protection behavioural change.
Broadly speaking, my academic post gave me a taste for research. I liked it, so I did more. I ended up doing a PhD.
My PhD is researching melanoma prevention in general practice and using tailored prevention advice and risk assessments to improve prevention. It’s similar to the project I undertook for my academic post, but my PhD has more rigour in developing the tools, involves more practices and a larger number of patients.
What were the benefits of an academic post?
At the time, I though the benefits would be improving writing skills, learning how research works, understanding how researchers think and understanding the research processes – knowing how to get things done.
And it did help me with all those things!
Through my academic post, I also started working with universities. I’m now teaching in the medical program at UNSW.
Did you think you would become a university lecturer?
I enjoy academic work, it was a very organic process and something I didn’t plan for when I started my academic post.
Any advice to anyone thinking of undertaking an academic post?
If you’re interested give it a go – for me it was a very rewarding experience – I was well supported, I met very keen minds and people who have a passion for what they do in research. I really enjoyed it.
If you would like to know more about Dr Vuong’s experience undertaking an academic post you can contact her, and if you want to know more about applying for an academic post head to our academic research page.