Let me clear conflict of interest first. I am Dr. Pratyush and have done my DNB family medicine from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi. I took family medicine at my DNB CET rank 1725, where during councelling i had options of other clinical specialities like medicine, peds etc at periphery centres. Since i have thought of doing my own “start up” ..to setup my own clinic near to our village, Family medicine was the best option for me.
Every one of us (postgraduate aspirant) may not have decided their plan post their pg courses. Some decide based on their rank, some are clear about their choice and they wait till they get their dream branch. But most of them finally end up doing postgraduate courses and with time everything settles. Life moves on.
Family medicine is not a new branch, in fact its into existence for past so many years. Family medicine is that speciality which finds its place most of govt health reforms plan. But beyond that there is still need of more political committment.
Family medicine is a broad speciality which is designed for specific purpose and that is primary care. Need for primary health care is huge in country like India with over a billion population. Family medicine deals with all age groups and all body systems, its a concept of generalism. There is huge potential for this specialty in terms of job, affordable and quality health care. Only thing we need is more structures health care with defined role of family physicians.
Training in family medicine covers various specialty like internal medicine – 9 months, obs – 3 months, peds 3 months, surgery 3 months, ICU and emergency medicine – 3 month, ent,ophthal, psychiatry, dermatology postings. It also include posting in primary health care. Duration of these postings is not uniform across all institutes. But over all, major posting is medicine then peds, surgery and obs gynae.
Rest all other rules are similar, you have to submit a thesis for which your guide and co - guides can be from any speciality belased on your thesis topic. At the end you have to give exam which consists of 4 papers. Paper 4 is mcq based only from community medicine. Rest all subjects are asked in other 3 papers. Theory exam is not that tough as it seems because you are expected only the basics.
In practical exam you get 2 cases of medicine, 2 cases of peds and 1 case of surgery or obs/gynae. There will be a separate medicine viva, peds viva and community medicine viva.
Frequently asked questions.
1. I want to do only medicine posting/surgery posting during my tenure as i am intrested only in surgery/medicine.
No, its not possible.
2. Can i extend my posting in few specialities of my choice?
Look, generally u have to follow the set pattern which your institute have made it for its DNB trainees and is also based on NBE guidelines.
3. Can i do superspeciality/subspeciality courses in neurology, cardiology, gastroenterology?
No, if you are interested, u should only take general medicine not family medicine.
4. Any other courses available after family medicine?
Yes, u can do geriatrics, palliative care and various other skill based courses.
5. Are family residents being treated equally in departments being posted?
Mostly yes, you will be treated at par with other residents of department and will be given opportunities in various academic programs of that department. But it also depends on your sincerity and dedication.
6. Is it similar to community medicine?
No, Both are different and their curriculum is different. Family medicine is a clinical speciality where you are going to practice as family physician.
7. Is it a approved/recognised course?
There should be no confusion regarding it. Its approved by MCI and after completing your training you can update it in your MCI and state medical council registration.
8. Is their any postgraduation MD family medicine courses?
Yes, it has been started. New AIIMS which have been set up have also got Department of community and family medicine.
9. What about research opportunities ?
There are lots of research opportunities in this field. We have many journals like journal of family medicine and primary care, rural and remote health etc. If you are interested in research, family medicine and primary care will never disappoint you.
10. What about family medicine conferences?
There are many conferences which takes place at national and international level. WONCA which stands for world organisation of family doctors conducts various confernces on various themes in association with regional groups. Details you can check it on website wonca.net .
In India we have Academy of family physicians of India which supports and promotes family medicine. AFPI has got a journal jfmpc.com . AFPI has got various state chapter which conducts regular CMEs and orientation programs. AFPI conducts national level family medicine and primary care conference. Next conference is at Kochi from 26 jan 2017. There are various bursaries and awards to support you for your travel in many international conferences.