Professor Helen Elizabeth Smith

Professor Helen Elizabeth Smith

Professor of Family Medicine and Primary Care
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Nanyang Technological University



Promoting Careers In Family Medicine To Undergraduates
Date: 22 September 2017, Friday
Time: 10.15am – 10.45am
Synopsis: Some students commence their medical studies with very negative perceptions of family medicine. In this presentation, Professor Smith will discuss her own data on the complex ways in which role models influence career aspirations and specialty choices. She will then discuss some approaches that are being used by educators to shift Family Medicine to be ‘a career by choice, not chance’.


Harnessing Patients’ Experiences To Improve Healthcare: A Workshop On Experience-Based Co-Design
Date: 22 September 2017, Friday
Time: 9am – 4.30pm
Synopsis: For many years, businesses have used their customers’ experience to develop and refine their products and services. It is now becoming increasingly desirable in healthcare to become more user-centred. In this workshop, participants will explore using research methods adapted from different disciplines, including business, anthropology and health service research, to capture ‘user experience’. The workshop will illustrate the different approaches with examples based on real-life studies that have engaged patients and their carers. It will address how one can move along the continuum of user influence, from patient satisfaction surveys all the way to experience-based co-design.


A Roundtable Discussion On Conducting Complex Intervention Trials In Primary Care Settings
Date: 22 September 2017, Friday
Time: 10.45am – 12.45pm
Synopsis: Conducting complex intervention trials in primary care requires a multidisciplinary team consisting of health professionals, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, health economists and social scientists. This workshop will bring together a team of Family Medicine/General Practice researchers from Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore sharing their experiences in conducting complex intervention trials in primary care settings. It will be delivered in the format of a roundtable whereby 5-6 speakers will give a 5-minute brief on their experiences in conducting such trials in general practice/family medicine and other primary care settings. Challenges and barriers including funding support and what to do with a negative trial will also be shared. It will be an interactive session with active participation from attendees who will be called upon to comment and ask questions of the speakers. It is envisaged that the outcome of this workshop will be the formation of an Asia-Pacific research leadership initiative to build primary care research capacity in the region.


FM Research With Medical Students: The Singapore Experience
Date: 23 September 2017, Saturday
Time: 9.30am – 11.30am
Synopsis: Family Medicine research is done by family physicians (FPs) on their patients and communities they serve. Research should increase knowledge and improve patients’ lives and communities which FPs serve. The Family Medicine (FM) Departments in all three medical schools in Singapore involve students in formal research programs, providing opportunities for students to collaborate with FPs in research. In the process, students learn about FM, research methodologies, data collection, data analysis, writing and presenting skills. This hands-on learning journey in family medicine research is a building block for students in preparation for when they become residents (most, if not all, FM Residency Programs include research as an essential component) and future leaders in FM. This symposium showcases family medicine research done by Singapore medical students, with respective faculty sharing their schools’ approaches to FM research training.


Professor Smith is a graduate of Nottingham University, UK with epidemiology and health services research training from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the University of British Columbia, Canada. She has dual accreditation in general practice and public health medicine and has worked in academic medicine for 25 years. Her research activities focus on the design of multi-method pragmatic trials to evaluate new technologies in primary care, and she has a particular interest in allergy and asthma.

Professor Smith has a long-standing interest in Medical Education and has always taught undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students. In 2016, she moved to Singapore to help develop academic Family Medicine at Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, and to develop a primary care research network.