Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEx) Blog

Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEx) Blog

Q and A with Tom Kallis

Posted by ma403

13 February 2024
  • Can you tell us a bit about yourself and research and/or career to this point?

I am a primary care clinical pharmacist and have worked for the past ten years in clinical practice in both community and general practice settings across Devon and Cornwall. I am an independent prescriber with an interest in mental health and deprescribing, and completed my MSc in Clinical Pharmacy Practice last year. As well as my clinical roles, I have previously taught at the University of Bath on the Independent Prescribing course and I am a co-founder of the Cornwall General Practice Pharmacy Forum. I have always wanted to pursue a career in academia and last year I was awarded a Wellcome-NIHR School for Primary Care Research ‘PhD for Primary Care Clinicians’ fellowship, which has allowed me to pursue a PhD full time with the APEx group at Exeter.

  • What are you aiming to do through your fellowship/new post, or what is your current research focus?

I am interested in how pharmacists make decisions in situations of clinical uncertainty when reviewing patients prescribed multiple medicines (polypharmacy). The clinical pharmacist role is new to primary care networks and has expanded rapidly across general practice in England over the past five years, so there’s still a lot about how pharmacists practice in these new settings that we don’t really know. I would like my research to ultimately inform novel interventions or clinical education to enhance the care pharmacists provide when presented with complex medication review.

  • What are you looking forward to most in starting your fellowship/new post, or the next year of your research?

I’m really looking forward to getting out there and starting data collection later this year – in particular, the audio recording of polypharmacy structured medication reviews, as well as talking to pharmacists and patients in qualitative interviews. I’m currently in the process of seeking NHS ethics approval for my research to proceed, but I am hopeful that it will be full speed ahead once this is in hand! I feel incredibly privileged to be able to pursue a PhD full time at this point in my life, so I’m enjoying every day that I’m able to put all my efforts into a topic that really interests me.

  • Tell us something about yourself that may be less well known.

2023 was a really special year for me – doing a PhD is something I’ve always wanted to do and I was over the moon to be awarded funding through the NIHR School for Primary Care Research. However, last year I was also lucky enough to get married to my best friend and Josh has been incredibly supportive of my various attempts to pursue a research career. We started fostering shortly after we got married, and we now have two young children who live with us and our labradors. In what dwindling free time I have left, I’m an avid reader and board game enthusiast!


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