Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Family Medicine

LEVEL 04 - Years 4, 5 in Modular UG or PG Cert Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

DESCRIPTION This study-unit offers the theoretical and practical exposure of the specialty of Family Medicine.

This study-unit offers the student a number of learning experiences with the aim of contributing to a basic medical practitioner who under supervision can safely manage patients in the community or at the interface between the community and institutional care.

Learning Outcomes:

The medical student will be able to:

- Identify the significant differences in the case mix of symptoms and pathologies between hospital and community patient populations;
- Apply the concept of a family and the family life-cycle especially when analyzed though the family systems perspective;
- Identify the risk factors associated with dysfunctional families;
- Identify what constitutes an emergency and how to provide basic life support;
- By using diabetes and hypertension as model chronic disease, identify the range of skills required to actively manage chronic disease on the basis of evidence and psycho-social context;
- Explain the importance of those organizational aspects that support primary care including medical records and the multidisciplinary team;
- Explain how gender and sexual health has an impact on disease presentation and management;
- Discuss the importance of the patient’s narrative and how it will help the doctor evaluate risks, ideas, concerns, expectations and impact on life;
- Describe and observe the basic tasks in a consultation that enables an efficient and effective use of the available resources;
- Discuss the importance of health surveillance and levels of disease prevention;
- Integrate health promotion and patient education with day to day practice;
- Discuss the sociology of health with respect to the sick role, illness behavior and how these modulate the disease burden in the community;
- Summarize end of life issues in relation to community primary care;
- Indicate the effect of clinical reasoning on the management of early disease, clinical scenarios and reduction in medical error;
- Discuss common scenarios and care management for the elderly in primary care;
- Appreciate those processes of care and the characteristics of primary care that enable cost-effectiveness and equity;
- Discover the principles that underline patient centered care through appropriate use of scientific evidence in a unique social and psychological individual context;
- Discuss basic legal obligations and common ethical issues in family medicine;
- Identify patient safety concepts and principles;
- Discuss the drivers of medical overuse and thereby, identify the psycho-social implications.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts
- ABC of Adolescence, BMJ publishing, Blackwell.
- You and Your Doctor, Mallia, P., Agenda.
- Textbook of Family Medicine - Ian R McWhinney& Thomas Freeman. 3rd Edition, 2009. Oxford University Press.
- Oxford Textbook of Primary Medical Care - Edited by Roger Jones, Nicky Britten, Larry Culpepper, David Gass, David Mant, Richard Grol and Chris Silagy. 2005. Oxford University Press.
- ERC Guidelines for Basic Life Support 2015.

Supplementary Readings
- A sociology of Health Wainwright, David. Ed
- Sociology as applied to medicine. Scambler.
- ABC of Psychological Medicien.
- Medical Ethics and Law. Hope , Savulescu and Hendrick.
- Hospice and Palliative Care Forman, Kitzes, Anderson and Sheehan.
- Skills for communicating with patients. Silverman, Kurtz and Draper.
- Psychology for Health. Adams and Bromley.
- Practical Ethics for General Practice. Rogers and Braunack-Mayer.
- Vulnerable Older adults. Burbank.
- Women’s Health and social change. Annandale.
- Culture and Health. M MacLachlan.
- Narrative Based Medicine. Greenhalgh and Hurwtiz.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study, Placement & Workshop

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Placement SEM2 No 10%
Online Postings SEM2 No 20%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 30%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 40%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.