Egwuda Livinus*, Igbudu Terhemen Joseph, Omokhua, Osarieme Enahoro and Iyaji Andrew


Background: Family Medicine is the discipline, variously known as general practice, family practice or primary care. Over the years, health care providers in our environment have not accorded Family Physicians their proper place in healthcare delivery. The reason for this has not been established. Aim: This study is designed to assess the level of clinicians understanding of Family Medicine in Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi, Nigeria. Methods and Materials: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study that was carried out in Makurdi; it involved 68 clinicians. Results: A total of 68 medical doctors (clinicians) were recruited for the study. These were aged 25-56years with the mean age of 34.3 years and a standard deviation of 7.18. The males were 60(88.2%), while the females were 8(11.8%). On clinicians’ understanding of Family Medicine, majority of the participants 27(39.6%) indicated that Family Medicine is a clinical specialty that is synonymous with General Medical Practice, while 3(4.4%) adduced that it explores little knowledge in all the medical specialties. Six (8.8%) stated that it is mainly responsible for the triaging of patients, while 11(16.2%) indicated that it engages in first contact care. Five (7.4%) admitted that it offers family care. Four (5.9%) of the participants noted it offers advanced General Medical Practice. Five (7.4%) of the doctors indicated that Family Medicine is a clinical specialty that offers holistic care, while 7(10.5%) admitted that it is a clinical specialty that offers continuous, coordinated and comprehensive medical care to patients irrespective of the age, sex or organs affected in the context of the family and having the cultural, social and economic status of the patients in view. Conclusion: Clinicians’ understanding of Family Medicine in our environment is far below average. This has brought to the fore the urgent need for experts in Family Medicine to commence an aggressive awareness on Family medicine discipline among health care providers.

Keywords: Clinicians, Understanding, Family Medicine, Teaching Hospital.

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