Home » Expanding Family and Community Medicine in the Degree of Medicine: Challenges and Opportunities in Spanish Universities

Expanding Family and Community Medicine in the Degree of Medicine: Challenges and Opportunities in Spanish Universities

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Expanding Family and Community Medicine in the Degree of Medicine: Challenges and Opportunities in Spanish Universities

Family and Community Medicine is slowly gaining ground in Spanish medical education, according to the latest analysis by the Observatory of the Academy of Family and Community Medicine of Spain (AMFE). While there has been a progressive improvement in the incorporation of this subject into the study plans of medical faculties, it still falls short of international standards.

The move to include Family and Community Medicine in the six-year medical degree program, consisting of 360 ECTS credits, has prompted some public universities to revise their study plans. Among the seven public faculties that have yet to introduce the subject, the University of Barcelona and the University of Cantabria are set to make room for Family and Community Medicine by sacrificing Preventive Medicine and English, respectively.

At the University of Oviedo, a three-credit mandatory subject in Family and Community Medicine will be introduced in the fifth year as part of the new curriculum set to take effect in the 2025-2026 academic year. Similarly, the University of Cantabria plans to implement three mandatory credits of Family and Community Medicine in the third year starting from the academic year 2024-2025.

The addition of Family and Community Medicine to the curriculum comes at the expense of other subjects like Preventive Medicine and English. Deans of various medical faculties, such as José Antonio Vega of the University of Oviedo and Samuel Cos of the University of Cantabria, believe that the inclusion of this subject is necessary to better prepare future doctors for their careers.

However, not everyone agrees on the extent to which Family and Community Medicine should be integrated into medical education. Anthony Trilla, dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Barcelona, argues that the subject should not comprise a significant portion of the curriculum, as medical education should focus on training well-rounded doctors.

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As discussions continue on the role of Family and Community Medicine in medical education, it is crucial to consider how the subject aligns with the requirements of the Medical Interdisciplinary Residency (MIR) exam. While some believe that the exam should place more emphasis on topics related to Family and Community Medicine, others suggest a more balanced approach that addresses a wide range of medical specialties.

Overall, the gradual integration of Family and Community Medicine into medical education reflects a broader shift towards a more comprehensive and patient-centered approach to healthcare. As the field evolves, it is essential for medical faculties to adapt their curricula to ensure that future doctors are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the healthcare needs of society.

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