Hong Kong Med J 2011;17:47–53 | Number 1, February 2011
Family medicine training in Hong Kong: similarities and differences between family and non-family doctors
YT Wun, TP Lam, KF Lam, Donald KT Li, KC Yip
Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVE. To study the local medical profession’s opinions on the training requirements for the specialty of family medicine. This was to serve as a reference for future planning of the health care system.
DESIGN. Cross-sectional study.
PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING. All registered doctors in Hong Kong.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Doctors’ ratings on the importance of vocational training, professional assessment, job nature, and experience to become suitably qualified as a family doctor, and their opinions on the length of necessary vocational training.
RESULTS. A total of 2310 doctors (23% of doctors in the local register) responded. Professional assessment was mostly agreed as a qualification, followed by vocational training, clinical experience, and job nature. Over 70% agreed on a training period of 4 years or less. Non-family doctors were more likely to opt for professional assessment as the qualification and also opt for a longer training period.
CONCLUSION. Vocational training was considered important as a qualification for the specialty of family medicine. The length of training was mostly agreed to be 4 years or less, not the 6 years currently required by the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. The vocational training programme for family medicine might require re-examination.
Key words: Clinical competence; Family practice; Health services; Primary health care; Quality of health care
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