FACULTY OF EDUCATION
The Faculty of Education has been an arm of the Academy of Family Physicians Malaysia. It’s function is to provide leadership to all the education activities of the AFPM. It has therefore a responsibility co-ordinate the various aspects of the educational programs which the AFPM runs.
The FOE has taken steps to bring some cohesion to the various departments of the Faculty. The Council has also approved the appointment of a group of advisors to the FOE in order to make use of ideas from senior members of the AFPM to inject thoughts about formulating a direction to its educational programs. It also being suggested that there should be a members and trainees section of the FOE to discuss the aspirations of young members towards postgraduate education and research.
In April this year, the AFPM witnessed an important milestone in the history of the AFPM. It was sgning of an memorandum of understanding between the government of Malaysia and the AFPM on cooperation in family Medicine. What was achieved was that while the qualification of the Membership of the Academy and the Fellowship of the Australian College had been recognised earlier, the MOU now emphasised that the MOH and AFPM had been working together in the past to promote family medicine as a distinct discipline to care for the people at the first contact with the medical practitioner, it further recognised the importance of continuity of quality care, equity and access of care being given primacy in the care of patients. The MOU also recognised the various supreme points of primary care of quality and standards, careers for primary care physicians, promoting research in primary care and advances in safety in primary care. The MOU also emphasised the importance of financial arrangements to cover expenses for cooperative efforts to be mutually agreed upon.
In addition to the above the most important achievement of the MOU was that the not only the qualification was recognised, but now the training towards the examination is recognised. This recognition affords an immense boost the AFPM to be known for the training it provides. These attributes of the MOU considers the AFPM education as an alternative pathway training to postgraduate family medicine discipline.
The FOE has therefore set forth to strengthen the educational programs of the DFM and the Advanced Training in Family Medicine (ATFM) (formerly known as ATP). In line with the MOU, research is already an integral part of the ATFM program and now the FOE is taking steps to integrate the quality and safety program(QIP) into the DFM and ATFM educational programs. It is strengthening the DFM and ATFM programs by conducting an outcome based workshop to streamline the DFM, ATFM, the Examination Board and the Board of Censors to look into ways of creating a more focussed four year training programs towards our membership examinations.
The other courses for training in dermatology, ultrasound and cardiovascular medicine have to get into the stream as special interest groups with well-grounded curriculum as well.
Prof Datuk Dr D M Thuraiappah
Dean of Graduate Studies