Family Medicine in Medical Schools in the EMR

Report on and e-poster accepted for AMEE’s 2020 conference – QR code permits online viewing of poster

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), in collaboration with the WONCA East Mediterranean Region (EMR) and the WONCA Working Party on Education conducted a survey of the medical schools in the EMR region. The aim of the survey was to explore the medical schools’ curricula for the presence of a Family Medicine (FM) rotation at the undergraduate level, its setting, duration, topics covered, methods used for teaching, and assessment.

The survey was sent to the 108 contacts of IFMSA in the various medical schools of the region.

Responses were received from 92 representatives (response rate of 85.2%); 19 were excluded as incomplete, 64 reported having FM rotations (87.7%).

Although present in most medical schools of the EMR region, FM rotations are relatively short and mostly take place outside of the community setting and in the form of lectures, offering medical students limited exposure to and practice in primary health care. The content and methods of teaching FM are quite diverse across the region. For more details on the results, you can access

As there is a shortage of family physicians worldwide and more so in the EMR region, medical schools can play a big role in influencing students’ interest in FM, and they need to adjust their curricula accordingly. Longer rotations in PHC specialties have been shown to increase students’ chances of pursuing a PHC specialty. The wide diversity of FM curricula and teaching methodologies can be an opportunity to compare what works best and what does not.