Common inquiries concerning family medicine in India include:

Since the 1960s, FM has existed as a separate and independent medical specialty in industrialised nations like the USA, UK, Australia, and Canada. FM instruction is given at the undergraduate and graduate levels in nations including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Nepal. The vast majority of doctors in India work in family practice. General practitioners, family doctors, FM specialists, and medical professionals in the public sector are among the FM practitioners. Since this idea is not covered in MBBS coursework, medical students are generally unaware of FM careers.

Since they have also gone through the same educational system for the past three decades and are mostly unaware of the notion of academic family medicine, faculty and senior doctors from other disciplines are likewise unable to respond to questions relating to FM. In order to debunk misconceptions and myths regarding FM speciality, this page is a compilation of frequently asked questions and the suitable answers. Dr. Raman Kumar, the founding president of the Academy of Family Physicians of India and the journal’s chief editor, deliberates on the responses. This essay was first released as an interview in November 2015 on the well-known online network and website for doctors called Docplexus.

What Do You Consider To Be The Difference Between General Medicine And Family Medicine And Their Respective Practitioners? In what ways does it differ from community medicine?

All three are distinctive and distinct specialties, according to the postgraduate (PG) regulations of the Medical Council of India (MCI) 2000.

What Americans commonly refer to as “internal medicine” is termed in Britain as “general medicine.” An “internist” is a person who has received training in internal medicine and only treats adult patients. A hospitalist who is required to follow a predetermined treatment plan for inpatient care is typically also an internist. In India, general medicine-trained doctors frequently work independently in a single clinic setting, which is a type of family practise.

Family medicine (FM) is a clinical medical speciality that focuses on providing complete health care for people of all ages. FM offers ongoing and comprehensive healthcare for the person as well as their family across all ages, genders, diseases, and body regions. The tremendous specialisation and subspecialization of medical care that occurred in much of the developed countries following the Second World War prompted the development of FM as a counterculture. As the need for individualised, ongoing, and comprehensive care among the public grew, the idea of medical care evolved to meet that need.

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What distinguishes family medicine practice from general practice?

The oldest branch of medicine in existence is general practise. Initially, general practitioners were the only types of medical professionals. After receiving their MBBS degrees, medical graduates used to often pursue careers in general practise. Over the course of several years of practise, general practitioners frequently amass a plethora of expertise. However, they frequently do not have the chance to learn new skills or keep their familiarity with the rapidly advancing science of the day.

The historical practise of general practise gave rise to FM. Many industrialised nations, including those in the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia, acknowledge FM as an unique academic discipline, knowledge area, and specialist profession that is taught through organised residency training.

Do you believe that there are fewer family doctors in India? If true, what are the underlying problems and causes of the decline in family doctors?

Traditional general practitioners are becoming fewer in number. The elder generation of general practitioners in places like Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Pune are retiring in their 70s and 80s, yet no one is starting new practises in their communities. A large portion of medical care has become divided during the past 50 years into organ-based specialised domains. With the introduction of the “super specialist” and “super specialised hospital” cultures during the past thirty years, this trend has gotten increasingly pronounced in India.

As a result, the community-based family practise sector is still unoccupied and has largely been taken over by quackery and faith healers, while the majority of freshly trained medical graduates spend years in a dysfunctional status waiting and toiling for numerically unachievable PG spots.

What Role Do Family Medicine and Family Doctors Play in the Current Super Specialty Practice Era? Particularly in Light of the General Pressure on Healthcare in India?

Family doctors (FM) and super specialists are more important than ever in the age of super specialised practise. There is no longer a single physician in charge of the entire patient. Since they have to see several healthcare professionals, people frequently find it upsetting when their minor health-related queries are not addressed by the treating doctors. For older people with many health concerns, this is harder. People are looking for solutions that can only be offered by generalist family doctors.

Does the Indian government support family medicine practises and practitioners in the same way that it does in certain other nations?

The Government of India’s National Health Policy highlighted “FM” as a human resource development focus area. However, progress has been made extremely slowly. In addition to the Mehta Committee report, the NRHM task force on human resources in health, and the planning commission’s 12th plan paper on health, which forecasts a need for 15,000 family physicians annually, a number of other government policy documents have discussed the development of FM Training Programs.

Are there any policy choices that demonstrate a desire on the part of governments to include family medicine practitioners in national health programmes?

Yes! The FM Program should be incorporated into the National Health Mission, the Indian government’s health secretary has requested in two letters to the state governments. The Government of India once provided funding for the establishment of the MD/DNB FM Training Program through NRHM. State medical authorities have received funding from NRHM as well for PGDFM training at CMC Vellore.

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Sub-tracks of Family Medicine:

What are the advantages of putting government policy on family medicine into practise?

A National Health Policy from 2002 supported the notion of FM, although none of India’s medical colleges have standalone FM departments. Through the National Board of Examinations (NBE), which is part of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, a few FM seats are available. Since FM is a community-based specialty, it makes it easier for medical graduates to transition lateral into the community-based health system. The absence of FM Training in India is the main cause of the paucity of PG seats in India. For well than 50,000 MBBS graduates, there aren’t many options for PG specialised training (MD/MS).

It’s an odd situation where there aren’t many job possibilities for recent medical graduates when they finish their MBBS degrees and there aren’t enough doctors to staff community-based health centres in both urban and rural locations. The idea of FM in India has recently attracted the attention of policymakers and medical students. In the event that the government’s FM strategy is put into practise, there would be no need for mandated rural postings. Recent medical graduates’ limited options for careers in primary care are mostly caused by the complete lack of career advancement beyond initial involvement. The FM system offers primary care physicians the same opportunities for career advancement with regard to academic employment, professional development, and access to research funding as other specialists.

What are the Various Routes to Family Medicine? If you’ve Already Tried another Specialization? What career options and financial resources are available to those who choose to specialise in family medicine?

Short-term FM courses are available. There are programmes for international accreditation, including MRCGP International. The most crucial thing is to begin practising with confidence, and one should constantly be motivated to learn new information and keep up with current knowledge. It is possible to stay current with all current standard treatment guidelines in the era of evidence-based medicine and the information revolution and to incorporate them into your practise. According to the recent FM PG graduates’ experiences, the pay is comparable to that of any other specialty.