UBC Faculty Research and Publications

A global picture of family medicine: the view from a WONCA Storybooth Cubaka, Vincent K; Dyck, Clayton; Dawe, Russell; Alghalyini, Baraa; Whalen-Browne, Molly; Cejas, Gabriel; Gibson, Christine


Background: Family Medicine is a novel discipline in many countries, where the motivation for training and value added to communities is not well-described. Our purpose was to understand the reason behind the choice of Family Medicine as a profession, the impact of Family Medicine on communities, and Family Medicine’s characterizing qualities, as perceived by family doctors around the world. Methods: One-question video interviews were conducted using an appreciative inquiry approach, with volunteer participants at the 2016 World Organization of Family Doctors conference in Rio de Janeiro. Qualitative data analysis applied the thematic, framework method. Results: 135 family doctors from 55 countries participated in this study. Three overarching themes emerged: 1) key attributes of Family Medicine, 2) core Family Medicine values and 3) shared traits of family doctors. Family Medicine attributes and values were the key expressed motivators to join Family Medicine as a profession and were also among expressed factors that contributed to the impact of Family Medicine globally. Major sub-themes included the principles of comprehensive care, holistic care, continuity of care, patient centeredness, and the patient-provider relationship. Participants emphasized the importance of universal care, human rights, social justice and health equity. Conclusion: Family doctors around the world shared stories about their profession, presenting a heterogeneous picture of global Family Medicine unified by its attributes and values. These stories may inspire and serve as positive examples for Family Medicine programs, prospective students, advocates and other stakeholders.

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)