The self in primary care

Our aim is to establish a body of work in an area that we consider to be a key basic science of person-centred primary care. We wish to give clinicians ‘permission’ to do person-centred care by offering a language of self that they can use to describe and defend their practice. 

Person-Centred Primary Care: Searching for the Self 

A brand new text written by members of our SIG (available from November 2017). More details here.

Ongoing work


  1. Examine ways in which the current primary care consultation enhances or inhibits a sense of self in both the doctor and the patient. 
  2. Explore contemporary concepts of the person and the self
  3. Consider whether and how differing concepts of the (doctor and patient) self might affect our understanding and management of common health problems, for example chronic pain, multi-morbidity and dementia.
  4. Propose relevant research activities to test impact of differing conceptual frameworks on clinical practice.
  5. Propose relevant educational activities to enable GPs, registrars and students to explore and expand their understanding of the self and its impact on their clinical practice.   

Membership of the group will be drawn from the full range of the SAPC membership, including clinicians and academics from social science and related disciplines.  They should have an interest in wrestling with complex, knotty questions in order to enhance the professional practice of clinicians and academics alike.  

Plans for the group: 

  1. The group began with a workshop on the Self in Primary Care, held at SAPC ASM in Dublin on 8 July 2016
    • September 2016
  2. Act as reference group for proposed multi-authored book on person-centred primary care, edited by Dowrick, to be published by CRC/Taylor & Francis.  This will enable group members to ‘get up to speed’ on key ideas and hone their critical perspectives, especially on clinical implications of emerging theories and concepts.
    • Spring  2017
  3. Brainstorm proposals for research and educational initiatives and further publications
    • July 2017, at SAPC ASM in Warwick
  4. Develop at least two formal proposals, including at least one each for research and educational initiatives, and write at least one further paper
    • Spring 2018
  5. Review implementation of proposals and publications
    • July 2018, at SAPC ASM in London
Chris Dowrick