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J Family Med Prim Care. 2018 Jan-Feb;7(1):205-209. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_72_17.

Family medicine: Perception and attitudes among Indian medical students.

Author information

1
Fourth Phase MBBS, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
2
IDEX Fellow and Intern at Aarogya Seva, St. Philomena's Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
3
Department of Family Medicine, St. Philomena's Hospital; Department of Family Medicine, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
4
Department of Family Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA and Core Committee Member AFPI Karnataka, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
5
Department of Family Medicine, Spandana Health Care, Bangalore and President, AFPI Karnataka, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
6
Department of Family Medicine, St Martha's Hospital and Core Committee Member AFPI Karnataka, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
7
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota, USA.

Abstract

Context:

Currently, family medicine is not taught as a part of the undergraduate medical curriculum in India. In this context, the perceptions and attitudes of Indian medical students regarding family medicine as a career choice were studied.

Aims:

This study aims to study the perceptions and attitudes prevalent among Indian medical students regarding family medicine as a career choice and discuss its future implications.

Settings and Design:

Cross-sectional survey study design.

Methods and Material:

We conducted a cross-sectional survey of undergraduate medical (MBBS) students attending the 2016 medical student conference DEMEDCON at Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College in Kolar, Karnataka, India. Besides demographics, the survey included questions pertaining to awareness, exposure, and interest in family medicine in India. We also asked an open-ended question regarding the respondent's perception of the future of family medicine in India.

Statistical Analysis:

Simple statistics such as mean and frequency (%) were calculated. Given the small sample size, no formal tests for statistical significance were performed.

Results:

Responses were collected from 45 students between the ages of 18-24 from 6 medical colleges across Karnataka and Puducherry. The majority (64%) of respondents were in their 3rd or 4th year of medical college. 98% of respondents expressed a desire to learn more about family medicine as a specialty, and 82% expressed a need to introduce it as a subject in medical college. However, only 58% were aware of the Medical Council of India accredited status of family medicine in India.

Conclusions:

There exists a significant lack of awareness and inadequate exposure among Indian medical students toward family medicine. Nonetheless, there is widespread optimism and a desire to learn more about the subject. Increased awareness and avenues for exposure to family medicine in the formal undergraduate medical curriculum is the need of the hour.

KEYWORDS:

Family medicine; primary care; undergraduate medical education

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