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clare heal.jpg

Associate Professor General Practice and Rural Medicine 

My current post is Associate Professor in General Practice and Rural Medicine, based at Mackay Rural Clinical School which is attached to James Cook University College of Medicine and Dentistry. Mackay is a small town of 100,000 people in North Queensland, and is situated 400km from the nearest tertiary referral centre in Townsville, and 1000km from the nearest capital city in Brisbane.

I am originally from the UK, and completed my medical degree at Liverpool University, and moved to Australia two years after graduating and settled in Queensland. I completed my postgraduate training in General Practice in Australia, and embarked on an academic career when the first cohort of JCU medical students arrived in Mackay in 2004.

My current role involves co-ordinating the general practice undergraduate placements in Mackay, chairing Year 5 (exit) assessment, and co-ordinating the JCU undergraduate honours program in Mackay. I currently supervise 12 research honours students and one PhD student. I addition I still work clinically in general practice, and also in a sexual health clinic

My major area of research interest is the GP management of skin cancer. I have been principle investigator in a series of practice based randomised controlled trials investigating wound management and interventions to prevent surgical site infection, some of which are ongoing. I am also interested in GP diagnostic accuracy and melanoma management.

Other areas of interest are sexual health, otitis externa, immunisation, medical student assessment and systematic review. I have published 40 peer reviewed journal articles.