Family Medicine

There are over 20,000 General Duty doctors providing clinical care at the primary care level in Nigeria. But very few of them have received any formal training in general practice. And fewer still have opportunity for continuous updating of the knowledge and skills necessary to provide optimum care in this current dispensation. This scenario partly explains the high level of preventable morbidity and mortality due to common ailments. Some of the clinicians engage in excessive referrals because they are not confident in handling cases with even the slightest complications. Several poor but discerning patients avoid these first contact health facilities and end up visiting multi-specialty hospitals where health care costs are very high, with the risk of becoming poorer!

A Family Physician is a multi-competent specialist who is trained to provide comprehensive health care both at first contact and in continuity. The number of  Family Physicians (that is, doctors satisfying the above definition) in Nigeria is grossly inadequate to cater for the huge and rapidly increasing population. It is with the above scenario in mind that the Faculty of Family Medicine of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN) started the 18 – month course leading to the Postgraduate


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