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Steve Reid is a Family Physician with extensive experience in clinical practice, education and research in the field of rural health in South Africa. As a conscientious objector to military service in the 1980’s at Bethesda Hospital in north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal, he was involved in community initiatives in health in the Bethesda health ward, and completed his Masters thesis in Family Medicine on the topic “The Community Involvement of Rural Clinic Nurses”. Moving back to Durban after almost 10 years, he established a Vocational Training Programme for rural doctors at McCord Hospital. He then took up the position of director of a research unit called the Centre for Health and Social Studies (CHESS) at the University of Natal, and with his team, pursued a number of training and operational research projects in rural districts around KwaZulu-Natal, focused on the strengthening of the district health system.
In 2001 the Centre was re-named the Centre for Rural Health, and Steve was appointed Associate Professor in the University of KwaZulu-Natal, with responsibility for community-based education and rural health. He teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students in public health, family medicine and health promotion, around the theme of Community-Oriented Primary Care (COPC). He has published extensively on the issue of compulsory community service, and is currently involved in numerous research projects in the field of rural health, including medical education, human resources for health, and HIV and AIDS.
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