STFM 2022 Abstract Submission
Poster - Abstract 8576
Building the Foundation for Universal Health Care: Academic Family Medicine’s Ability to Train Family Medicine Practitioners
Authors: Johnston EM, Samaratunga N, Prasad R, Birkland B, Von Pressentin K, Prasad S.
Purpose/Background: The Declaration of Astana marked a revived global interest in investing in primary health care to achieve universal health care. Family medicine clinicians are uniquely trained to provide high quality, comprehensive primary care, while recognizing the interaction between the individual and the larger community and environment. Yet little focus has been placed on understanding the resources and challenges faced by family medicine training programs in producing skilled clinicians for their communities. This study aims to assess broad patterns of strengths and resource challenges faced by academic centers that train and produce family medicine clinicians.
Methods: We conducted an anonymous online survey of family medicine faculty using WONCA Working Party on Education and WONCA Africa listservs.
Results: Twenty-nine respondents answered the survey, with representation from every global geographic region. Funding for the program and/or individual trainees was reported by respondents as one of either their greatest resources or their greatest limitations. Frequently available resources included quality and quantity of faculty and reliable clinical training sites, while most cited limitations included recruitment capacity and social capital. Over half of survey respondents noted that their program had at some point during its life cycle faced a disruption/gap in its ability to recruit or train residents. Of the respondents who identified the cause for this disruption, the most frequent cause noted was loss of government recognition for the training program. In considering what types of partnerships with other academic institutions might be beneficial, respondents most frequently cited partnerships focusing on faculty development and research collaboration as likely to be beneficial.
As policy makers and potential global partners continue to explore a path forward to bolstering primary health care systems, it will be critical to consider how best to support family medicine training programs that produce highly skilled clinical leaders at the community level. This survey provides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of what challenges are faced and how best to contribute to the sustainability and growth of these programs, particularly in terms of: a) areas for investment; b) opportunities for government policy and action; and c) areas of collaboration.