3863 : ACADEMIC FAMILY MEDICINE IN LATIN AMERICAN MEDICAL SCHOOLS

Author(s): 
Ceitlin, Julio; Knox, Lyndee
Text: 
Poster
BACKGROUND Development of family medicine in Latin America started in the 1970s with a primary focus on residency training. In the 90s, attention expanded to include predoctoral education. The "Grupo de Panama", a task force composed of family physicians, was established in 2000, to evaluate progress made in academic family medicine in Latin America.
METHOD: Surveys and key-informant reports were used to collect information about predoctoral family medicine training in medical schools (N=138) in eight Latin American countries.
RESULTS: Data from seventy-four percent (n=103) of the schools were collected. Sixty-two percent (n=64) reported offering courses in family medicine at the predoctoral level. Forty-eight percent (n=50) reported the existence of a formal department of family medicine or a Cathedra (a division within a larger department) within their institution, and 58% (n=60) had trained family physicians on faculty.
CONCLUSION: Family medicine in Latin America has made progress over the past decade but only slightly more than half of surveyed schools currently provide predoctoral training in the specially. Degree of inclusion varies by country and likely reflects either a national policy (Cuba) or the presence of an influential leadership (Panama, Venezuela). Additional studies are needed to examine development of the discipline at medical schools in order to guide efforts to consolidate the discipline in Latin American countries.
Topic: Education/Teaching