Monday, February 21, 2011

International Family Medicine: list of core competencies

A list of the things a family practice physician needs to know will vary from country to country, but as discussed in a study published in the Middle East Journal of Family Medicine last spring, there is a core set of competencies that FPs in every country should have. The researchers surveyed FP docs around the world to see how many of these core skills are being systematically taught in their countries. Australia topped the list, teaching all 44, and Indonesia brought up the rear with only 17. The most-taught subject was "Accident and Emergency," while the least-taught was "Women's Health." (Though I was relieved to see that that was treated as a separate topic from "Obstetrics and Gynecology," that statistic is still unfortunate.)

This study is helpful for putting family practice curricular issues into a global perspective, and I recommend that anyone involved in teaching family practitioners in the developing world read it. At the very least, it provides an important checklist of the topics to emphasize in your curriculum.

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