Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care The University of Hong Kong

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The Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care (FMPC) was first established as the General Practice Unit in the Department of Medicine in 1985 to introduce the learning of general practice into the undergraduate medical curriculum at the University of Hong Kong.  The Department was renamed the Family Medicine Unit in 1998 and was renamed the Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care in 2010.  The FMPC has grown significantly in its staff number, and teaching, research and clinical activities, especially in the past five years. It is functioning with its independent administration and curriculum.  The FMPC team currently has five full-time academic staff (two clinical professors, one clinical assistant professor and two assistant professors), and shares one clinical assistant professor with public health.  It has a total of more than 20 staff including three full-time PhD students.  It is also supported by two medical residents, two part-time clinical assistant professors and 241 honorary teachers. 

The FMPC provides both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education.  It is responsible for three family medicine and primary health care programmes that thread through all five years of the undergraduate MBBS curriculum.  The emphasis is on clinical experiential and contextual learning in both public and private family practices in the community.  Apart from the Ap Lei Chau Clinic, the Department has a network of 16 core family medicine teaching sites and over 100 family practice attachment practices. It also supervises the Clinical Interpersonal Skills Programme (CIPS) in the second and fourth years, and it will start a programme “From Health to Well-being” for the University-wide common core curriculum in 2012.  The FMPC runs two postgraduate diplomas, both of which are quotable medical qualifications, one postgraduate certificate course for practicing primary care doctors and one post-graduate certificate programme for Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners.

The FMPC has become a research intensive Department with a focus on health-related quality of life, primary health care services, medical education and mental health.  It has developed expertise in population surveys, psychometric instrument testing, practice-based network research and the application of qualitative and mixed research methods in health and health services research. The research achievement of the Department is recognized by the invitation of its faculty members as Co-chair and members of Government Research Council, Health & Health Services Research Grant Review Board and Advisory Panels.  There are more than 20 research projects currently running with 3 full-time PhD students.  It has obtained more than HK $32 million research grants with an output of more than 490 refereed journal papers, book chapters and conference presentations in the past five years.  The research activity is expected to increase significantly in the coming years to address the needs of the health care reform with an emphasis on primary care in Hong Kong.

The FMPC serves the community at the Ap Lei Chau general outpatient clinic by providing primary care to 15,000 patients in 40,000 consultations a year.  It also provides consultative service to the establishment of family medicine based primary care services in the community.  The Department’s teaching clinic sets the standard for quality primary care, and has pioneered various new service delivery models including special clinics for chronic disease management and screening, and integrated medical-psychosocial services in primary care.  It plays a key role in professional leadership in primary care with staff members serving as chair and members in Task Forces and Working Groups for Primary Care Reform, council members of the Medical Council of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, and Chief Censor and examiners of the Hong Kong College of Family Physicians.