Family medicine as a discipline is emerging in Ethiopia. Graduates of medical schools have historically had a one-year hospital-based internship and have been expected to practice as General Practitioners thoughout the country, playing a crucial role in the delivery of care. The concept of a further 3 years of training to promote comprehensive patient-centered community-oriented family medicine (FM) is now developing.
The country’s first-ever family medicine program was inaugurated in February 2013 by the College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University (AAU), in partnership with the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM), University of Toronto. The Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration in Family Medicine (TAAAC-FM) has evolved over the past years to develop a robust capacity-strengthening partnership, grounded in co-consultation and reciprocal learning with our AAU-FM faculty colleagues through reflective, AAU-focused, needs-based curriculum planning. TAAAC-FM has provided faculty teaching trips annually, a pandemic response of virtual curriculum, all in addition to close collaboration throughout the year to foster leadership and scholarship in family medicine.
The AAU-FM residency program trains family physicians for the Ethiopian health care system and context, ensuring local faculty capacity is optimized so that both training and service delivery is sustainable in-country. Family physicians are charged to expand the scope and improve the quality of primary care in Ethiopia, with patient care being provided in the community, reducing the need for referral to distant secondary and tertiary level hospitals.
In February of 2016, Ethiopia’s first 7 family medicine physicians graduated. Many of the early graduates of the program have become Ethiopia’s first family medicine faculty in the College of Health Sciences at AAU. This program continues to grow and adapt to changing needs and opportunities, always with a focus on partnership, collaboration, friendship, and solidarity in family medicine.
Program Contact Information
Department of Family and Community Medicine
500 University Ave. 5th Floor
Toronto, ON, CANADA