The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) calls family doctors "our rising stars of the future". This reflects WHO’s renewed commitment to build family medicine as a specialty across all regions. Strengthening family medicine has been recognized as a key component of achieving Universal Health Coverage as part of the Sustainable Development Goals to which every country committed at the last United Nations General Assembly. This degree aims to build on this momentum for strengthening primary care by developing competent family physicians who are empowered to become leaders and advocates for the future of the profession.
The University of Edinburgh
provides high quality postgraduate medical education in through an online distance learning format. Students are from a variety of countries across the world, each bringing their unique experiences to create a vibrant global learning community. The programme will give doctors the essential medical knowledge and management skills for the common presenting health issues and explore management within the context of the principles, processes, and practices of family medicine. The programme will equip students with the skills to become expert family physicians whose approach will provide continuous, coordinated, comprehensive and cost effective care build around an understanding of the patient in the context of the family and the community.
The degree is awarded by the University of Edinburgh
and is taught in partnership with the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India. Experienced members of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA) are also involved in delivering teaching and supervising students.
This blended distance learning programme is delivered via the Moodle platform with the support of our partner institution CMC Vellore, India. Students have access to comprehensive learning materials as well as the University of Edinburgh
’s library resources. Online tutorials are delivered regularly by experts in the field.
There are seven compulsory courses and a dissertation. Courses cover:
•Family Medicine 1: Introduction to Family Medicine
•Family Medicine 2: Non-communicable disease
•Family Medicine 3: Child and Maternal Health
•Family Medicine 4: Special groups of patients (including mental health, geriatrics and palliative care)
•Principles and Practice 1: Professionalism and Roles and Responsibilities of the Family Physician
•Principles and Practice 2: Communication/consultation skills, Health Informatics, Ethics, Leadership and Quality Improvement.
•Evidence Based Medicine
The dissertation provides the opportunity for the student to undertake an extended piece of scholarship in an area of personal interest and is undertaken in the last few months of the programme.
The online teaching is complemented by a two week period of face-to-face teaching each year. This builds on the online content and provides practical clinical training. This teaching is currently delivered in four sites across the world: India, Nigeria, Uganda and Egypt. Attendance provides the unique opportunity to travel and view the practice of Family Medicine in other countries whilst meeting and learning from fellow students.
In addition there is the opportunity to participate in a 30 days clinical internship following completion of the Masters qualification. This is an optional activity aimed at providing additional clinical experience to those who have completed the course.
The programme is aimed to provide doctors with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to become effective Family Physicians. It is relevant to doctors of all backgrounds and experience from early career doctors to those established in other specialities.
The programme provides a high quality Masters level qualification in Family Medicine and builds on the skills already gained by the student in their post graduate clinical training. It is not a recognised vocational training course and cannot be used for direct entry to clinical practice as a Family Physician.
A medical degree (MBChB or equivalent). The programme is particularly well suited to those working in low or middle income countries with a commitment to continued working in rural poorly resourced areas.