Family medicine training and practice in Malawi: History, progress, and the anticipated role of the family physician in the Malawian health system
This article analyses the development and implementation of family medicine training and practice in Malawi, with special attention given to its current status and the projected role the trained family physician will be expected to play in the future. The general aim of the paper is to briefly review the role of family physicians in rural areas, as well as to discuss the history of family medicine training in Malawi. The idea of formal family medicine training and practice in Malawi started as early as 2001 but did not come to fruition until 2011, with the start of the undergraduate clerkship in the fourth year of medical school at the University Of Malawi College Of Medicine. This energy was followed by the launch of a postgraduate training programme in early 2015. The challenges encountered in this endeavour are also reviewed. The paper concludes by discussing the expected role a Malawian family physician will play in the local context, considering the key roles that family physicians play elsewhere in Africa.