Dr. Richard Birtwhistle is a family physician and clinical epidemiologist. He is a Professor in the departments of Family Medicine and Community Health and Epidemiology and is currently Director of the Centre for Studies in Primary Care in the department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University. He also served as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education in the School of Medicine at Queen’s from 1996-2004. He continues to practice family medicine in clinic 2 days per week.
His primary research interests include hypertension, chronic disease management, and the evaluation of primary care models. Since 2008 he has been the principal investigator and is the current Chair for the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) which is a national project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada ($11.8M). Its aim is to develop a central repository of de-identified patient data on chronic diseases from a network of primary care practitioners using electronic medical records. This data source will be available to health care providers and researchers for surveillance and research purposes, ideally leading to improved chronic disease care in Canada.
Dr. Birtwhistle received the Researcher of the Year award in 2010 by the College of Family Physicians of Canada in recognition of the successes of CPCSSN. He is also the Vice Chair of the newly reconstituted Canadian Task Force in Primary Healthcare which is producing evidence based guidelines for primary care practitioners.