Awareness Talks on Introduction to Family Medicine

Talks at Medical colleges in Rawalpindi and Wah Cantt, April 2016

An article reviewing recent awareness talks by Dr Kashif Sohail MRCGP

I visited Pakistan in April with a plan to deliver talks on Family Medicine to raise awareness about speciality in medical colleges under the banner of APHCP (aphcp.com) and RAHII (www.rahii.org).

One week prior to these talks I had meetings with Principal of Rawalpindi medical College ( RMC ) and       Wah Medical College ( WMC ). Both institutions were enthusiastic to be part of awareness campaign.

Prof. M. Umar Principal RMC and Department of Medical Education arranged for me to present to final year medical students at RMC on 19th April. It was my first visit to new block of RMC and was a great feeling.

WMC principal Prof Waseem-ud-din arranged my presentation for house officers, PGT’s and faculty staff for 20th April.

AIMS : These talks were arranged to raise awareness among the medical community including staff and students in order to promote family medicine in Pakistan.

Presentation at RMC- 19TH April

Family Medicine awareness session was arranged in CPC hall and audience was mainly final year medical students.

Before starting my talk I asked the audience if they have heard of family medicine as a specialty before today’s talk ; surprisingly none of them nodded in yes and that showed how important was this to make them aware of family medicine. They listened keenly about family medicine as it was a new subject for them.

 

Presentation at WMC – 20TH April

Wah Medical College holds CPC meeting every Wednesday morning starting at 8 am and I was supposed to present during one of these meetings. I met couple of times with Principal of WMC, Prof  waseem-ud –din before hand and shared potential presentation points and also discussed possibilities regarding primary care model in wah cantt.

Here audience was mixed including all the faculty staff and junior trainees and house officers. Talk went very well and there was a good question answer session in the end. Few doctors showed interest in more information regarding membership exams in family medicine.


Conclusion:
 Talks were very well received and appreciated by the audience and head of both medical colleges and it was decided to arrange follow up talks as well.

There is a lot of potential for improvement of family medicine and Pakistan can benefit a lot from promoting family medicine training and also by including in the curriculum.

Potential Solution: 

Introduction of family medicine departments in colleges will create awareness and interest in medical students and house officers towards specialty. It was also discussed to consider the possibility of having family medicine outpatient clinics in hospitals in first phase and to start health checks of local population to screen for cvd and diabetes etc

PMDC should either declare it mandatory or at least encourage further training post MBBS before practicing independently and provide some incentives for those who are willing to opt for further training route in family medicine.

Those doctors who complete 18 to 24 months hospital rotation following MBBS could then be considered eligible for MCPS exam in family medicine. And after passing MCPS they can be allowed to work independently.

Those who pass MCPS and if they are willing to consider FCPS than  CPSP should arrange to provide some training in BHU / RHC for  at least 6 months and then as an incentive CPSP could consider to send them abroad for 6- 12 months for  training in family medicine.

This can work as an interim measure till Pakistan start producing its own family medicine doctors.

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