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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 3214-3219

Views of physicians on the establishment of a department of family medicine in South India: A qualitative study

1 Department of Family Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Family Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sajitha M. F. Rahman
Department of Family Medicine, Low-cost Effective Care Unit, Schell Eye Hospital Campus, Arni Road, Vellore - 632 001, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_551_19

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Objective: To explore the experiences and perceptions of physicians involved in establishing a department of Family Medicine in South India. Methods: In this study, descriptive qualitative methodology was used. Nine family physicians and one community medicine physician were interviewed. The data were subjected to thematic analysis. Findings: The establishment of a department of Family Medicine in South India in response to the local health-care demands needed support from the institution, visionary leaders and alumni of the institution. The key challenges perceived were lack of mentorship, lack of identity and misunderstanding of the work of family physicians. Conclusion: This study replicates earlier studies on the role of local health-care needs and visionary leaders in striving towards family medicine-based clinical services that further evolved into training and research opportunities in family medicine. The study identified the challenges and supportive forces behind the initiation of a department of Family Medicine and the role of family physicians in strengthening primary health care.

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