Professor Steve Reid



Prof Steve Reid is a Family Physician with extensive experience in clinical practice, education and research in the field of rural health in South Africa. He holds an MBChB degree from the University of Cape Town (UCT), a Masters in Family Medicine from Medunsa, and a PhD in Education from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). His doctoral thesis by publication of 12 published articles was on “Education for Rural Medical Practice”. This was stimulated by exploring alternative theoretical frameworks in education for rural health other than the biomedical perspective, including the use of ‘creative process’ as a different way of seeing.

After 10 years in rural district hospital practice, he started a vocational training programme for rural doctors in Durban, and was a founder member of the Rural Doctors association of SA. At UKZN he started the Centre for Rural Health, with responsibility for community-based education and rural health.  He played a part in establishing Africa Health Placements and the Rural Health Advocacy Project and is the National Chairperson for the Collaboration of Health Equity through Education and Research (CHEER).

In 2010 he took up the post of Director of the Primary Health Care Directorate at UCT and is developing this role to support medical and health science graduates to become more relevant and appropriately skilled in Africa. He is also involved in developing the role of the arts and social sciences in health care through the Medical Humanities within the African context. To this end he has initiated a Medicine and the Arts Masters course as well as a Massive Online Open Learning Course (MOOC). He is currently engaged in plans to operationalize transformation and primary health care (PHC) as priorities in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Prof Reid’s inaugural lecture in 2011 was titled “The Music of Health for All”, exploring the links between music, medicine and PHC.

He has published widely in both local and international journals and books on a broad range of topics with his research foci including: PHC; CHEER; human resources for health; medical education; family medicine in Africa; compulsory community service; rural health; district health systems; community based services support & intermediate care policy; continuity of care; community oriented primary care; population based approaches to health; person-centred care; community based education; primary care research capacity-building in Africa; student admission and selection processes; social accountability; arts/creativity and healthcare; medical humanities; developing the next generation of leaders in health; resilience in youth & service providers; educational interventions to enhance student & health professionals’ observational skills; effect of health service delivery on undergraduate students.

Prof Reid is a recognized expert in his field and receives regular invitations to speak at meetings and conferences nationally and internationally. He is a member of numerous boards and organizational groups; has taught, lectured, convened and externally examined on a broad spectrum of undergraduate and postgraduate student courses; has participated in a range of curriculum reviews; and is a regular reviewer for accredited national and international journals.

He plays the violin and is married with 4 children.


Sample article:

Reid, SJ., Couper, ID. and Volmink, J. Educational factors that influence the urban-rural distribution of health professionals in South Africa – a case control study. SA Med J, 101(1): 29-33, January 2011.