Personal profile


Dr Michael Leach is a Senior Lecturer (Education and Research) at the Monash University School of Rural Health, Bendigo. Dr Leach’s interdisciplinary work encompasses quality and safety in healthcare. He is a past recipient of an Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs – Veterans’ Medicines Advice and Therapeutic Education Services (Veterans’ MATES) PhD Scholarship, which funded nationwide pharmacoepidemiological research into psychoactive medicine use and the risk of hip fracture among older Australians. Dr Leach has held research and statistician positions at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Loddon Mallee Integrated Cancer Service (LMICS), and Monash University. While employed at LMICS, he undertook a part-time secondment with Cancer Australia to work across all Australian jurisdictions on the Data-driven Regional Cancer Care Initiative. Dr Leach actively pursues an interest in digital health by undertaking CPD to maintain a Certified Health Informatician Australasia (CHIA) qualification through the Australasian Institute of Digital Health (AIDH). He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Dr Leach’s current research projects include VMAX: Understanding methamphetamine use in Victoria, the Gippsland Cancer Survivorship Program, the I.CAN health coaching program for people with cancer, implementing the Optimal Care Pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People with Cancer, palliative care skills among nurses, quality of life among people living with a stoma in regional Victoria, neurological outcomes in patients surviving an in-hospital cardiac arrests, the prevalence and correlates of advance care planning across Victoria, and projects investigating the pharmacoepidemiology of psychoactive drugs. His educational responsibilities include teaching evidence-based practice and applied statistics across the units MAP5003 (Essentials of Advanced Health Care Practice and Research) and MPH5214 (Demographic Methods) as well as running online workshops for health care students located across rural Victoria. Dr Leach has successfully co-supervised a BMedSc(Hons) student who investigated the short- and long-term outcomes of MET calls in a regional hospital setting as well as two BBMedSc(Hons) students who undertook rural cancer survivorship projects. Dr Leach is currently co-supervising a PhD student who is investigating cancer clinical trials. He is available to supervise PhD projects related to cancer survivorship, health humanities, and social support.

Dr Leach’s work in the health sciences is complemented by a passion for the health humanities, particularly health-related poetry and history. In his own time, he has published poems related to health, science, and art in such journals as the Medical Journal of Australia, the Australian Journal of Pharmacy, and Cordite Poetry Review. His debut poetry collection is a chapbook of health-related poems entitled Chronicity (Melbourne Poets Union, 2020). His first full-length poetry collection, Natural Philosophies, is forthcoming from Recent Work Press. As part of his work at Monash University School of Rural Health, Dr Leach collaboratively runs haiku poetry writing workshops aimed at improving wellbeing and empathy among health care students. With regard to Australian pharmacy history, he has investigated psychoactive medicine dispensing in a community pharmacy setting during the Psychopharmacological Revolution of the 1950s and 1960s. Dr Leach is currently a co-leader of the Australan and New Zealand Association for Health Professions Educators (ANZAHPE) Health Humanities Hot Topic Action Group (HTAG):

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Pharmacy, La Trobe University

Graduate Certificate of Science (Applied Statistics), Swinburne University of Technology

Master of Biostatistics, University of Melbourne

PhD (Pharmacoepidemiology), University of South Australia

Research area keywords

  • Wellbeing measures
  • Health services research
  • Rural health
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Supportive care
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality Of Life
  • Social support
  • Epidemiology
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Drug safety
  • Psychoactive drugs
  • Health surveys
  • Health humanities
  • Poetry

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or