Dr Dawes is a family physician and professor emeritus of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia. After his PhD in 1992 he developed and ran the Masters in Evidence-Based Health Care at the University of Oxford. In 2002 he became head of family practice at McGill University for eight years and then took on the same role at the University of British Columbia until 2017. He has run observational and interventional experimental studies in primary care.
His current work is focused on precision health and includes prescribing complexity, pharmacogenetics in primary care, and clinical decision support software. He founded and is Chief Scientific Officer of GenXys, a University of British Columbia spin out company.