WONCA EMR Regional Professional Diploma

The Regional Professional Diploma In Family Medicine (RPDFM) is a two-year diploma. RPDF-FM present one of successful collaboration for EMR primary health partners; World Health Organization Regional Office for Eastern Mediterranean (WHO-EMRO), Arab Board of Health Specializations (ABHS), World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). 

The RPDFM is a bridging programme aims at equipping general practitioners (GPs), who do not have additional structured training after medical school, with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are needed to provide comprehensive, continuous and appropriate health care to individuals and families. The training is delivered in a blended format using a mix of online (self-directed, instructions, discussions) and face-to-face (teaching, discussions) clinical training with both academic and clinical supervisory support. The training programme spans over a period of 24 months, with the first 12 months being fully online and the second 12 months in a blended format. The training programme is divided into eight terms, spanning over 104 weeks, and composed of 16 blocks with each block spanning over six-week period. Moodle will be used as a Learning Management System (LMS) for the online part of the training. Nearly 800 physicians have met the eligibility criteria and were shortlisted for enrollment accordingly. The admission process has been initiated at country level. Also 35 tutors were selected initially to take this educational journey forward. The main objectives of the inauguration is to support the new programme by introducing the RPDFM to students and tutors and raise awareness about family medicine role in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR)

The inaguration event took place on Sunday, 2nd of October 2022. From 12:00 to 2:00 PM (Cairo local time). The inauguration started with opening remarks for Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari (Regional Director,WHO EMRO), Dr Omar Al Rawas (Secretary General, ABHS),  Dr. Karina Nersesyan (Deputy Regional Director, UNFPA ASRO), Mr Aymen Gharaibeh (Regional Director,UNHCR MENA Bureau), Mr. Bertrand Bainvel (Deputy Regional Director UNICEF MENARO) and finally  Prof. Taghreed Farahat EMRO President, The World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA). Prof. Taghreed acknowledged the efforts of past and current presidents of WONCA world and WONCA EMR for their advocacy to family medicine and declared this diploma as a victory to WONCA as it will secure an adequate number of family physicians to allow WONCA  to achieve its Mission and subsequently  achieve SDG3 “Health for All”.

Then the Implementation overview of the Regional Professional Diploma in Family Medicine was presented by Dr Elsheikh Badr (Chairperson, Strategy Office, ABHS) and Dr Mona Osman (Head, Training Committee, Family Medicine Council, ABHS) to describe the executive eb=vent and the Gantt chart for the process.

The first scientific session took place under the title ‘what does it mean to be a family doctor?’ where Dr Anna Stavdal President, The World Organization of Family Doctors, (WONCA) gave the first talk highlighting family practice core values and accentuating that now, more than ever, what the world needs is: high quality Primary care. Dr Ghassan Hamadeh Professor of Family Medicine gave the second talk and emphasized the role of family practice in the community.
That was followed by question and answer then closing remarks from   Dr Jawad El Sharif (Deputy Secretary general, ABHS), Dr Rana Hajjeh (Director, Programme Management, WHO EMRO), and Dr Awad Mataria (Director, UHC/HS, WHO EMRO).

Prof. Taghreed speech

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

On behalf of me and my colleagues in WONCA world in general and WONCA EMR particularly, I hardly find the words to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Ahmed Almandari Regional Director, WHO EMRO and all his team for their continuous help, encouragement, and sincere efforts in leading all collaborators throughout this work. I extend our deepest gratitude to Dr Omar Al Rawas Secretary General, Arab Board of Health Specializations for acknowledging and recognizing this diploma. 

Similarly, appreciation goes to the efforts of past and current presidents of WONCA world and WONCA EMR for their advocacy to family medicine. With their support and encouragement, the family medicine specialty has been more appreciated and supported by the policy makers and regional stakeholders. 

All the praises and thanks to Allah for giving us the strength and ability to complete this diploma which was a dream for all of us to fulfill the gap in family physicians and to maintain efficient capacity building of family physicians in EMR region. 

As a family physician and a gatekeeper for the health services, I acknowledge  this diploma  as a victory to WONCA as it  will secure an adequate number of family physicians to allow us to achieve WONCA Mission to improve the quality of life of the peoples of the world through defining and promoting its values, including respect for universal human rights and including gender equity, and by fostering high standards of care in general practice/family medicine which will achieve universal health coverage and subsequently  achieve SDG3 “Health for All"