Lionis Christos

Christos Lionis, MD, PhD, FRCGP (Hon), FWONCA, FESC

Professor of General Practice and Primary Health Care

Head of Clinic of Social and Family Medicine

Balint Groups

Faculty of Medicine University of Crete-Heraklion, Greece

Contact details


Curriculum vitae


Christos Lionis graduated from the University of Athens Medical School in 1979. He is qualified in both Internal Medicine and Public Health, He also holds a PhD from the University of Crete entitled: ‘An educational intervention in junior high school students for the prevention of coronary heart disease’.


Since 1995 Christos Lionis has worked at the University of Crete Medical School, where he is Professor of General Practice and Primary Health Care, and Director of the Clinic of Social and Family Medicine.   With a passion for the importance and the value of Family Medicine, Christos is actively involved in the development of Primary Care and General Practice in Greece. He currently co-ordinates a thriving GP research network on rural Crete, and is also responsible for the supervision of a number of PhD students. Previous to his employment at the University of Crete, Christos worked for 9 years as Manager and Medical Director of Spili Health Centre, obtaining experience as a clinician and researcher in the field of Primary Health Care and General Practice.

From 2001 to 2004 Christos held the title of Deputy General Director of the Regional Health and Welfare system of Crete, a planning and regulatory body forming part of the Greek National Health Service with responsibility for overseeing primary care and welfare services. Following this involvement Christos has undertaken an active role in the management and leadership of clinical governance on the health of the Cretan population. Christos was appointed as Vice Chairman of the National Council of Public Health and he is serving this body until today. He was elected as Professor of General Practice and Primary Health Care at the School of Medicine, University of Crete, Greece in 2009. Since his appointment as academic member of the Medical Faculty, Christos has been involved in coordinating and teaching various undergraduate courses, including the doctor-patient relationship and two recently established courses on evidence-based clinical decision making, and compassionate care. Together with Professor Philalithis, he also supervises fieldwork training in primary care. He has also contributed to the development of the undergraduate curriculum of the Medical Faculty University of Crete by his involvement as a member of the Committee of Undergraduate Studies and as the Coordinator of this Committee during the past few years.

Since 2009, Christos has co-ordinated the Primary Health Care Unit at the Municipality of Heraklion, a shared initiative with the University Hospital and the Municipality of Heraklion.  This facility offers medical care and assistance to socio economic deprived individuals, with a specific focus on chronic disorders.  He delivers clinical care in this primary care setting twice per week, while teaching 6th year medical students on site.

Christos has significant experience in the management and delivery of Postgraduate taught programmes, and currently directs a Masters programme in General Practice and Primary Care at the School of Medicine, University of Crete with a course entitled evidence based medicine. In addition, He teaches one course for the Masters programme in Public Health and Health Care Management at the University of Crete entitled research methodology. He has a highly successful background in recruiting and supervising postgraduate research students, most of whom have a background in general practice, and are pursuing fields of research relevant to primary care and general practice.  Up until now, 20 PhD students have successfully defended their studies at the Medical Faculty of the University of Crete.

Research interests

The Clinic of Social and Family Medicine undertakes a number of experimental studies and research projects, with a particular emphasis on multidisciplinary approaches to health care, and consideration of social and psychological factors affecting health. Christos’ key research activities and interest focus on:

  • primary health care and family medicine
  • quality management, and the formulation of guidelines for management of common disease and chronic conditions with a focus on cardiometabolic diseases
  • factors contributing to cardiovascular disease
  • mental health
  • compassionate healthcare

His additional fields of expertise comprise of:

  • needs assessment
  • morbidity in general practice
  • diagnostic studies and probability
  • health care research methodology
  • quality in primary care

His current activities within this field include: publications on the subject; development of a compassionate care elective for first year medical students; implementing and encouraging compassionate care at the Heraklion practice which focuses on providing care to socio economic deprived individuals; co-ordination of the delivery of health care services to hard to reach rural and remote areas on Crete; development of research protocols in the field of compassionate care; co-editor of a forthcoming book and journal on this subject.

Christos has a successful track record with regard to bids for external research funding, and is very experienced in contributing to the development of national and international research collaborations and partnerships.  Together with his research team at the University of Crete he is currently involved in four FP7 European funded projects.

Editorial and International Work

Christos is involved in an editorial and advisory capacity with a number of international journals, including:  Family Practice (as Associated Editor); BMC Family Medicine (as Section Editor); and the International Journal of Rural and Remote Health where he is Editor in Chief of the European Section. He is also co-editor in chief, jointly with Sue Shea, of the ‘Journal of Compassionate Health Care’ – an open access journal supported by BMC.

Christos has developed a number of scientific relationships with the international scientific community relevant to Primary Care and General Practice and he is a member of the Executive Boards of various professional organisations including: the European Primary Care Cardiology Society (EPCCS); WONCA Working Party on Research; and WONCA Working Party on Mental Health with an interest on the management of mental health disorders in primary care.  He is also the current chairman of the International Federation of Practice based Research Network (IFPCRN).  He was serving the Executive Board of the European Society of General Practice/Family Medicine (WONCA) Europe until 2003 and vice chairman of the European General Practice Research Network until 2004.

Christos has collaborated with, and developed valuable affiliations via collaborative EU/research projects with institutions and Medical Universities in the UK, (Kings College London, University of Glasgow, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester and Guys and St Thomas Hospital), in the Netherlands (Radbound University Nijmegen and Leiden University) as well as various other Universities and Networks in European countries including France, Cyprus, Malta, Austria and the Czech Republic.  He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) London, in May 2009. In addition, he regularly collaborates with various other countries including Sweden (where he spent 6 months at the Health Sciences School, Linköping University as a guest professor and researcher) and Turkey in the framework of Erasmus staff and students exchange programmes.


Christos has published widely in international journals, including the Lancet. 344 of his publications are currently cited in PubMed. Many of them have a focus on cardiovascular disease and they are listed in a separate document. Christos has also been involved either as a Task Force member or reviewer in several published ESC guidelines.


Meandrou 23, 11528 Athens, Greece

Tel.: +30 210 7211845
Cell.: +30 6974450868 (every Wednesday 18.00 - 20.00 local time)

Hellenic Balint Society
VAT No: EL996911527

Piraeus Bank
IBAN: GR 19 0172 0320 0050 3209 3826 792

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