Family medicine

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Family medicine is a relatively new 'specialty' under medicine in general. As mentioned in our opening caption..community-based, continuing, comprehensive, preventive primary care medicine...it involves a very large field of medicine. It is a branch of medicine that provides primary care.

According to WHO primary care is "essential health care made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community by means acceptable to them, through their full participation and at a cost that the community and country can afford."

RACGP defines primary care as "the provision of primary continuing comprehensive whole patient care to individuals, families and their community."

A Family Medicine Specialist (FMS), should be able to take responsible action on any problem the patient might have, make appropriate referral to the right personPoint of first contact for the majority of people seeking health care and make a total assessment without subjecting patient to unnecessary investigation , procedure and treatment.

The College of General Practitioners of Malaysia was formed in 1973. Family Medicine was introduce as part of undergraduate training at UM in 1989 and in 1990, UM started a 4-year Masters in Family Medicine programme, followed by UKM in 1991. USM had the masters programme going since 1995. In 2002, for the first time the conjoint programme would involve all three universities.