Quality Improvement Programme for Postgraduate Training in Family Medicine under the Academy of Family Medicine of Malaysia
The Academy of Family Physicians (AFPM) conducts a 4-year training programme for postgraduate Family Medicine. Doctors who have completed their horsemanship and three years of compulsory government service are eligible to apply for this training. They have to be working full-time (at least 38 hours per week) in general practice, in public health clinics (Klinik Kesihatan) under the Ministry of Health (MOH), Army clinics and University clinics.
The delivery in the first two years of training is distance learning with eight online modules and four face-to-face workshops per year. Their case mix should be patients and well persons from all gender, all ages and all organ systems presenting for primary care. Trainees need to complete all assignments, a log diary of at least 8 cases for each Module and pass the final summative theory examination consisting of 80 Single-best answer items to qualify for the award of Graduate Certificate in Family Medicine (GCFM).
Successful completion of the GCFM will enable trainees to enter into the next two years of Advanced Training in Family Medicine (ATFM). During this period, there are 14 online Modules and monthly face-to-face discussion with their assigned mentors and peer groups. At the end of the two years, candidates have to pass the eligibility test to qualify them to sit for the Conjoint MAFP/FRACGP examinations.
Vetting of trainees’ application forms for GCFM training is currently conducted by AFPM’s Censor Board with visits to some suspicious practices. Unfortunately, this does not cover all practices and there is no provision to ensure that the practice is suitable for Family Medicine training.
Periodic workplace-based formative assessment is now an important aspect in medical training as it enables the trainer to assess the trainee in the actual workplace with real patients. It is also useful to identify gaps and weaknesses for feedback and rectification.
Hence the two main objectives of the quality improvement programme (QIP) for training are to:
i. Assess and accredit the practice for suitability as a training centre
ii. Provide workplace-based formative assessment and feedback
There are three QIP levels:
• QIP Level 1 conducted in the first six months of starting the 2-year training programme for Graduate Certificate in Family Medicine (GCFM) – see document attachment ‘QIP Level 1 Practice Visit’
• QIP Level 2 conducted in the first six months of starting the first year of the 2-year training programme for Advanced Training in Family Medicine (ATFM) – see document attachment ‘QIP Level 2 Practice Visit’
• QIP Level 3 conducted in the first six months of the second year of the 2-year training programme for Advanced Training in Family Medicine (ATFM) - see document attachment ‘QIP Level 3 Practice Visit’