PhD shared decision-making in general practitioners' medical curriculum and daily practice

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


July 11, 2021


PhD shared decision-making in general practitioners' medical curriculum and

daily practice

(ref. BAP-2021-445)

Last modification : Monday, June 7, 2021

The Academic Center for General Practice (ACHG), a clinical department associated with the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at KU Leuven, is looking for an enthusiastic researcher (m/f/x) for a doctoral trajectory. The ACHG is partly responsible for the training of more than half of all general practitioners in Flanders. The ACHG is embedded in an (inter)national network of universities. The research activities at the ACHG cover a wide range and can be summarized based on five core themes (mental health, aging, cardiovascular health, infectious diseases and evidence-based medicine) and five cross-cutting themes (health technology assessment, implementation research, digital health, clinical epidemiology and medical education). The expertise/infrastructure built up within these themes provides the necessary support to optimize the impact of the activities within the various research domains. Currently, some 20 PhD students affiliated with the ACHG are working on their PhD. In the past five years, four to five students have successfully defended their doctoral thesis every year. Research at the ACHG usually takes place in intra-university, inter-university and/or international collaborative ventures. In the last five years, 762 papers from the ACHG were published in peer-reviewed journals.

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Shared decision-making (SDM) combines people-centred communication skills with evidence-based medicine to achieve high-quality patient care. It is a collaborative process that allows patients and clinicians to make decisions together, taking into account the best scientific evidence available, as well as patients' values, preferences, life situation, and willingness to know about disease process and prognosis. Trustworthy guideline recommendations are key information sources for clinicians. While there is convincing evidence for the use of (digital) patient decision aids to support SDM, most have not been implemented in the complexity of clinical practice. Observed levels of patient involvement during clinical consultations suggest considerable room for improvement.

The objective of this research project is to implement shared decision-making and the use of (digital) patient decision aids in general practice in Flanders, both in medical curriculum and daily practice.

You prepare a doctoral thesis within a multidisciplinary research group in which you set up and carry out your own research under supervision. You will link this research to a doctoral dissertation in biomedical sciences at KU Leuven. To this end, you carry out your own literature and field research, in which you collect and analyze both qualitative and quantitative data. You publish scientific papers related to the research project in the context of your PhD. You explore the field of healthcare and fulfill an ambassadorial role on a national and international level by scientifically communicating research results. You also transfer knowledge to practice and policy in an accessible way.

  • You have an excellent knowledge of Dutch and English, both spoken and written.
  • You obtained a master's degree in one of the following fields: medicine, biomedical sciences, health care management and policy, psychological and pedagogical sciences. A master's degree in general practice is a plus.
  • You graduated at least with distinction.
  • You have a special interest in health care and/or followed a suitable selection path in the basic training.
  • You have a special affinity with the domain of healthcare communication.
  • You have a strong motivation for scientific research (both qualitative and quantitative). Experience in research or publications is a plus.
  • You can work systematically and independently, you have a sense of initiative and you can make people enthusiastic for participation in research, for input of expertise, for advice, ...
  • You are a team player who can deal well with changes that are specific to applied research.
  • You have strong project management skills and a great problem-solving ability.
  • You have a critical attitude that you can apply in scientific research and a strong drive to keep learning.
  • You have strong communication skills.
  • Offer
  • You will be appointed full-time or part-time (minimum 50%) at KU Leuven for a period of 4 years.
  • We offer you a solid scientific education in the field of healthcare.
  • We guarantee a creative and innovative working environment in a multidisciplinary team.
  • The start date of the project is determined in consultation.
  • Interested?

    For more information please contact Prof. dr. Mieke Vermandere, tel.: +32 16 37 72 81, mail:

    Job interviews will take place between 19 and 23 July 2021.

    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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