World Family Doctor Day 2019 report

2019 FDD Theme: “Family doctors – caring for you for the whole of your life”

World Family Doctor Day (FDD) – 19th May - was first declared by WONCA in 2010 and it has become a day to highlight the role and contribution of family doctors in health care systems around the world. The event is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the central role of our specialty in the delivery of personal, comprehensive and continuing health care for all of our patients. It’s also a chance to celebrate the progress being made in family medicine and the special contributions of family doctors globally.

This year we decided to highlight the role of family doctors in providing life- long care to their patients – “from cradle to grave”. We especially wanted to emphasise that family doctors have a key role in the management of children and also their pivotal role in palliative and end of life care.

As is now the custom, the day was celebrated widely in many countries across the globe. Activities including videos and photographs have been posted on many social media sites for all to see.

Of particular note this year was the launch of two books which are featured in this report - both show what our specialty of family medicine is about - but from totally different perspectives. Other member organisation reports formally submitted by May 31 are included in the attached document.

Young Doctors’ Movement Video

Also the Young Doctors’ Movement combined voices from young family doctors around the world in a video of celebration.


From Canada: "University of Toronto Family Medicine Report"

In recognition of World Family Doctor Day on May 19, 2019, the University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine, a WONCA Academic member, has released the first-ever University of Toronto Family Medicine Report. This report is the first evidence-based, comprehensive picture of the state of family medicine and the health of our patients. The report highlights the many contributions family doctors make to the health and wellbeing of our population every day, and provides new insights into patterns of ill health affecting the people we serve.

"The University of Toronto Family Medicine Report demonstrates the value of family doctors and family medicine to our health system. This report provides a sketch of family medicine that—as the years go by – will become a beautiful portrait of the work we do, why we do it, what we should do differently, and what it all means for the health and wellbeing of the people we serve

The report utilises the data from the electronic medical records of hundreds of thousands of patients to showcase the important work of family doctors, and the members of our teams, as well as providing new insights into patterns of ill health affecting our population. Written for a lay audience, I hope this report can serve as a template for others seeking to highlight the contributions of family medicine in their own context.

I encourage you to read and share this report as we share our pride in our profession as part of our World Family Doctor Day celebrations.

Michael Kidd
Professor and Chair, Department of Family and Community Medicine
Email: [email protected]

Tu, K., Greiver, M., Kidd, M. R., Upshur, R., Mullin, A., et al (2019). The University of Toronto Family Medicine Report. Toronto, Ontario: Department of Family and Community Medicine. ISBN: 978-1-9990809-0-7
Download full report here

From Singapore: “Being Human”, Cheong Pak Yean and Ong Chooi Peng (editors)

This interesting book was launched in Singapore in celebration of World Family Doctor Day 2019.

“Being Human” is a collection of pictures, accompanying stories, and reflections. The pictures were drawn by medical students of the National University of Singapore during their Year 3 Family Medicine posting (of eight weeks) in workshops titled Pictures from the Frontline and taught by A/Prof Cheong Pak Yean from 2012 to 2017 (this generated 200 pictures – one from each clinical group taught). Of these, 72 were shown to seasoned family physicians to comment, add their experiential stories, as well as their reflections.

The lively book, designed in full colour by Liw Yi Ling, cohesively integrated both words and pictures to tell vibrant stories of life. Even the cover has a story – A riot of colours of the Zinnias growing out of a flower bed, and reflecting life – colourful, messy, but vibrant.

The 168-page book has 72 topics organised into five chapters (with the number of topics in parentheses): Doctor and Patient (9); Challenges to Care (16); Family and Sexuality (15); Being Human (15); and In Practice (14).

Being Human depicts the Hippocratic wisdom of Art outlives life. All medical students and all practitioners are potential beneficiaries. Enjoy.
Topic 4.2 Social isolation. The commentary on the picture tells us more: “ .. a listless-looking middle-aged man whose eyes are the focal point. Vertical black and white stripes depicting prison bars are drawn in lieu of normal eyes. If one looks closely at the right eye, a faded man can be seen tightly gripping the bars, his eyes squeezed shut; he looks like he is trying his hardest to escape. Is this a reflection of this man’s circumstances? Is he trapped in his failing body? Instead of handcuffs or ropes he is tied down by nasal prongs..."

Topic 1.6 Masquerades. The  drawing leaves us in no doubt as to what this means to a family doctor. The example in the text vignette is of a young man who wanted to lose weight for his wedding. However he knew he was infertile. "...The diagnosis of Kleinfelter syndrome was his damming reality. Obesity was his masquerade"

Commentary by A/Prof GOH Lee Gan, Past Regional President, WONCA Asia Pacific Region (2001-2007)

For more information and to ask about copies of this interesting book please contact
Dr Tan Tze Lee, president of the Singapore College of Family Physicians
[email protected]

View other member organization reports here - (Hong Kong SAR China, Nigeria, Australia, Philippines, Portugal) View more member organization reports here - (China, Myanmar, Thailand)