The International Federation of Primary Care Research Networks (IFPCRN) was organized under the WONCA Task Force on Research at the May, 2001 meeting in Durban, South Africa. Nineteen individuals from seven countries participated. Chris van Weel offered, on behalf of the WONCA Task Force on Research, to sponsor the listserver and Web site for the new IFPCRN.

The mission of the IFPCRN is to will support research for primary health care for the benefit of patients by:

  • the mutual support of research networks
  • the exchange of ideas and methodologies
  • advocacy for the quality of research in primary care
  • capacity building
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  • policy and advocacy initiatives
  • doing collaborative research

John Beasley from the US was selected as interim chair and Helen Smith (Chair of the UK FPCRN) as interim co-chair. Francisco Gomez-Clavelina from Mexico has volunteered as editor of the newsletter and the website and has replaced Dr. Smith as co-chair. On summer of 2007, Francisco Gómez-Clavelina was elected as new Chair. and Waris Qidwai from Pakistan was named ViceChair. John W. Beasley was named Excecutive Member at Large and Counselor of the Steering Committee.

At a small, informal meeting of some IFPCRN members at the 2001 NAPCRG meeting in Halifax some preliminary criteria for international projects were established:

  • an energetic and committed PI and support by clinicians in various countries
  • the question to be answered is of importance and interest to local clinicians
  • clear evidence of why an international approach is needed to answer the question

The IFPCRN members at the Halifax meeting also added to the list of potential projects first articulated in Durban and identified several potential PI’s.. The list of potential projects now includes:

  • Impact of HIV/AIDS in primary care
  • A day in the life of a family doctor
  • How the stigma of mental illness impacts care
  • Study of publication bias and impact of having a Euro-centric literature
  • Management of smoking
  • Access to EBM and other information sources in different countries and different areas
  • Cross-national study of medical ethics
  • Needle size and pain with immunization
  • Definition of alcohol abuse in different countries
  • Contrasting care pathways for (e.g.) diabetes, maternity care
  • Patient expectations of care for (e.g.) pregnancy
  • Perceived quality of life in different countries
  • Role of FP/GP’s in immunization programs.

The IFPCRN hold formal meetings at most WONCA conferences, including Wonca World, Wonca Europe, North American Primary Care Research Networks (NAPCRG) and other venues as resources permit. IFPCRN members have made presentations to numerous to count in almost.

Membership in the IFPCRN is being developed rapidly, and now includes 153 individuals and representatives of 53 networks or planned networks in 45 different countries.

The IFPCRN has had one paper published:

Beasley JW, Dovey S, Geffen LN, Gomez-Clavelina FJ, Inem V, Lam CCK, Nugmanova A, Qidwai W, Pavlic DR, Weel C van. The Contributions of Family Doctors to Primary Care Research: An International Perspective. Primary Health Care Research and Development 2004;5:307-316.

Two promising initial studies among the areas listed above are a study of what family doctors do when confronted with patients with HIV/Aids and a study of the barriers to immunizations and how family doctors can better assist with immunizing populations. We are in the process of preparing another paper on the role of family doctors in health care systems internationally, with Dr. Waris Qidwai of Pakistan as the lead author.

To meet our goals of the mutual support of research networks and the exchange of ideas and methodologies the IFPCRN has established a list server and a website through Wonca’s Global Family Doctor and a website which can be accesssed at ifpcrn.org

Membership from individuals as well as from established and planned networks is being solicited at this time. To contact the IFPCRN, please email Francisco J. Gomez-Clavelina at


The IFPCRN emblem is a picture of one beautiful handcraft of the figure of one family, this handcraft was made by Zulu people of Kwa-Zulu-Natal reservation in South Africa. The International Federation of Primary Care Research Networks was organized under the WONCA Task Force on Research at the May, 2001 meeting in Durban, South Africa; few weeks after this meeting, Francisco J. Gómez-Clavelina proposed this monogram as an allusion to IFPCRN first meeting and organization.

IFPCRN web master: , Family Medicine Department, Medicine Faculty, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).