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joanne reeve.jpg

From the earliest days of my medical training, I have been fascinated by illness. For me, disease is interesting - sometimes helping to explain and address illness. But illness - the human experience of being 'unwell', of something being 'not right' - is what has always sparked my curiosity and my critical thinking. And so it is 'illness' which shapes both my daily actions as a GP, and my career decisions to date.

I left medical school with strong interests in the wider social determinants of health and plans for a career in public health. It was a person-centred vision of health care which brought me back into general practice. I became curious about a particular way we understand and deal with health and illness - namely evidence-based decision making. Never having considered an academic career, I decided I had a problem I wanted to explore. I applied for an NCCRDC PhD fellowship to consider the utility of a biomedical account of depression in explaining and addressing an illness experience of distress in people living with terminal cancer.

This work inspired my College Paper on Interpretive Medicine. From there, a goal to support the critical development, delivery and evaluation of the person-centred interpretive approach to care that is generalism. I successfully applied for an NIHR Clinician Scientist Award to build a body of work on Generalist solutions for Complex Problems. I am now two years into a five year programme of work which includes elements of practice development, research and teaching/professional development.