Chandigarh: The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in an effort to revive the concept of family physicians, has approved a proposal to set up a ‘Department of Family Medicine’ and start a ‘Doctor of Medicine’ (DM) program in family medicine at the institute. According to PGI doctors, the institute is the first to start a course in family medicine in the northern region.
The program was consented to by the institute’s Staff Council which met last week. “This course was among several proposals which were cleared by the institute’s staff council. The council cleared a few new study program as well,” said the official.
In earlier times, one’s family physician held a prominent place in the day to day health problems of a family, whether it was grandpa’s giving away knee joints or the grandchild’s running nose. One’s family physician was one’s family confidante. With the passing time, that picture seems to have changed. With the rising role of specialization in Medicine, the healing touch of the family physician seems to be gradually dying.
The concept of a family physician in the past years has been overtaken, by specialists and super specialists, who have become the preferred choice of patients. Doctors are of the opinion that after qualifying, the candidate should be able to function as a family medicine specialist in a community healthcare setting. “The physician should be specialized even to provide healthcare from birth till old age,” a doctor told the Indian Express.
Dr Madhu Gupta, Additional Professor of Community Medicine at School of Public Health, PGI, holds that the concept of family physician continues to remain meaningful. “This family physician is actually a single point of contact for a patient. There is no need for the patient to visit doctors of different specialties. Seventy percent of the patients with minor illnesses can be treated by these family physicians. It will also reduce the load at secondary and tertiary care level. In the course of a family medicine, a doctor is taught about various specialties, including ENT, pediatrics, ophthalmology, and gynaecology,” she told the daily.
The Medical Council of India is also focusing to revive the warmth and culture of this age-old relationship between a family and its physician by making efforts to roll out an MD course in Family Medicine at various places