Awareness of family medicine discipline among clinical medical students of Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
Introduction: Undergraduate medical education requires the studying of a wide range of medical specialties to produce the future workforce of the healthcare system. Family medicine (FM), a relatively new specialty in Nigeria, aims at supplying doctors capable of providing comprehensive healthcare for the majority of the population. However, many Nigerian medical schools (Bayero University inclusive) are yet to include FM in their undergraduate curriculum.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of 178 respondents randomly and proportionately selected from 400-, 500- and 600-level medical students of Bayero University Kano. Using a structured questionnaire, their awareness of FM discipline, specialty preferences, factors influencing specialty preferences and their views on the relevance of FM in improving health systems were assessed.
Results: A majority of the respondents (60.7%) were males and most (93.8%) had heard of FM. However, only 19.7% of respondents were aware that FM was taught in the undergraduate programme of medical schools; 86% were aware of a postgraduate FM programme. FM (22.5%) was the second most preferred specialty following surgery (23.6%). Personal interest in the specialty was the main (76.5%) reason for preference. Only 2.9% believed the postgraduate training for FM had a longer duration. All respondents believed FM was relevant as a specialty.
Conclusion: The knowledge and perception of the FM discipline among clinical medical students of Bayero University was good. They expressed that FM was relevant in the healthcare system as shown in their preference for the specialty, which ranked second among other specialties.
Keywords: awareness, family medicine, medical students, specialty preference