Current Students

Honours Students

Greasha Rathnasekara (BMedSc Hons)

Supervisors: Professor Danielle Mazza and Dr Cathy Watson

Project: Understanding LARC counselling in high-risk areas for teenage pregnancy by GPs.

In Australia General Practitioners are the first line in the delivery of contraception to women and the management of sexual and reproductive health concerns. There are a number of safe contraceptive methods currently available to women and long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are the most effective reversible modes of contraception for preventing pregnancy.

The uptake of LARCs in Australia has been poor, particularly with young women who are at the highest risk of unintended pregnancy. Greasha's project aims to qualitatively explore how GPs in high-risk areas for teenage pregnancy approach the contraceptive consultation and what practitioner factors impact the uptake of LARCs by teenage women.

Elodie Bernard (BMedSc Hons)

Supervisors: Professor Danielle Mazza and Dr Cathy Watson

Project title: How do Australian general practitioners provide interconception care?

There is growing recognition that many adverse pregnancy outcomes are caused by maternal risk factors which exist prior to conception. Interconception care refers to interventions aimed to identify, prevent and manage medical and social risks to a woman’s health and birth outcomes between pregnancies. In particular, the interconception period provides an opportunity to modify risk factors which affected prior pregnancies and may have resulted in complications such as preterm birth. General practitioners are ideally positioned to provide care to women between their pregnancies yet very little is known about its implementation in practice. Elodie’s project will use semi-structured interviews with GPs to explore their experiences and views on the delivery of interconception care.

Eishitha Bandara (BMedSc Hons)

Supervisors: Dr Riki Lane and Professor Jan Coles

Project: Areas of improvement in primary care for trans and gender diverse people: Patient and stakeholder perspectives

As the population of people identifying as trans and gender diverse (TGD) increases, so too does the need for comprehensive and respectful health care. To develop such skills, it is imperative that TGD patient experience of healthcare is analysed and evaluated, to guide future learning tools and care pathways. Resources such as Health Pathways guidelines, online training modules, and medical curricula are currently in early stages of development. Eishitha’s project aims to compile experiences of TGD people in the health care system in Victoria – specifically focusing on suggestions for improvement and education of health professionals, particularly general practitioners. Through interviews with both TGD patients and stakeholders such as health professionals experienced with TGD clients, key strategies will be formulated for future use in university curriculums and educational tools.

Isabelle Claxton (BMedSc Hons)

Supervisors: Professor Grant Russell and Dr Joanne Enticott

Project: Factors Associated with Resilience Among Refugees in Australia

Refugees in Australia are a particularly vulnerable population at risk of mental health issues. The rates of mental illnesses among refugee populations are higher than among non-refugee populations, as a result of their experiences in their home country and the issues faced after their arrival in Australia. By examining the first 3-4 annual waves from the ‘Building a New Life in Australia’ survey – a longitudinal, nationally representative cohort study involving 2,399 recently resettled humanitarian migrants – this project will focus on the construct of resilience with the aim to the predictors and associations for maintaining enduring good mental health and wellbeing over 4-5 years.

Shay Manchanda (BMS Hons)

Supervisors: Dr Shiva Vasi and Dr Joanne Enticott

Project:  What are the factors impacting access to mental health care of refugees and asylum seekers in general practice/primary health care settings.

Shay’s project will involve qualitative interviews to identify factors impacting access to mental health care of refugees and asylum seekers in general practice/primary health care settings. The project is aligned with the aims of the OPTIMISE project , namely improving quality of care, access and transition of primary health care services to refugees and asylum seekers. However, unlike the OPTIMISE project, Shay will focus on mental health in primary care. He will be using Penchansky and Thomas (1981) seminal paper on improving access to healthcare as his theoretical framework.

Academic Registrars

Dr Alison Brown

Project Title: The expansion of general practice: Practitioner factors associated with moving to larger or corporatised GP clinics and the effects on their job satisfaction.

Alison will be researching the practitioner factors associated with the move towards larger and corporatised GP clinics in Australia. She will be working with Professor Grant Russell using Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life quantitative longitudinal survey data.


Dr Dan Epstein

Project Title: Alternative novel payment systems for general practice- “Pay what you want”.

Australian primary care is mainly fee-for- service consisting of a mix of bulk billing practices, private gap-fee practices (gap fee paid by consumer) and mixed billing practices (who charge a gap to patients other than pensioners or children). The economic payment principle of “pay what you want” provides an alternative approach to price setting where cost setting of a gap fee is determined by the value placed on the service by the consumer. In this qualitative study, we hope to explore consumer and provider attitudes toward a “pay what you want” approach.


Dr Pallavi Prathivadi

Project Title: Qualitative insights into opioid prescribing practices by Victorian GPs

Dr Prathivadi’s research will explore knowledge, attitudes and beliefs related to opioid prescribing by Victorian GPs through in-depth interviewing and qualitative data analysis. This inquiry into the various biopsychosocial influences on opioid prescribing will also explore the major areas of concern for established and registrar GPs in the prescribing of these drugs of dependence.This initial study will inform future doctoral research to evaluate implementation of the newly published RACGP opioid prescribing guidelines. Furthermore we hope to develop tools to aid implementation of the guidelines into routine clinical practice.

PhD Students

  • Coming soon!