Family medicine is the medical specialty that provides continuing, comprehensive, coordinated
and personalized health care for the individual, in a holistic manner within the context of the
family and environment. The specialty of Family Medicine is defined uniquely within the family
context and encompasses all ages, both sexes, and every disease entity, integrating biological,
clinical and behavioral sciences (AAFP 1993).
Family Medicine is therefore a clinical discipline that transcends specialties and integrates them
into a new whole. It deals with illness in man in a wider context by synthesizing the essential
aspects of all branches of medicine at a depth that is appropriate for maintaining continuity of
patient care.
Though Family Medicine is only about five decades old, unlike some specialties like internal
Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, which are several decades old, it is now well
established as an academic and clinical discipline in universities and health systems across the
world, including the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Australia, Japan, etc,
as well as some developing countries like South Africa and Ghana.
In Nigeria the discipline is over thirty years old, and started at postgraduate level, through the
Residency Training Programme of the National Postgraduate Medical College with the West
African Postgraduate Medical College subsequently following suit.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged the critical importance and positive
impact of Family Medicine in the healthcare delivery system of nations that have embraced the
specialty. This acknowledgement which is largely due to the comprehensive nature, skill and
knowledge content of Family Medicine, was well documented in the 2008 World Health Report
published by WHO (See World Health Report available at
Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) has also affirmed that countries where
primary care led by Family physicians was the bedrock of the health care delivery system, had
lower healthcare costs and better health outcomes. In the words of the WHO Director-General
Dr. Margaret, Chan, “A health system where primary care is the backbone and family doctors are
the bedrock delivers the best health outcomes, at the lowest cost, and with the greater user

Though the process of establishing the department of Family Medicine was tough and prolonged,
It was finally established in the University of Benin on the 4 th of December, 2017 as a full-
fledged department.

The department has been in existence at the sister institution, University of Benin Teaching
Hospital since 1973 initially as service providing center. On the 3 rd of April 1989, the
department commenced postgraduate training for resident doctors who intend to specialize in
Family medicine.
The department of family medicine/school of medicine, College of Medical Sciences, University
of Benin was created at a special meeting of Senate held on 4 th December 2017. It is thus a young
department. The pioneer Head of Department is Prof. A. Edo of the Internal Medicine
Department. The Current Ag. Head of Department is Dr. (Mrs.) E.I. Okaka of the Internal
Medicine Department. There are currently two (2) Adjunct Senior Lecturers, four (4) Adjunct
Lecturers 1 and 1 adjunct lecturer II officers in the Department. The department commenced the
clinical posting for 500 level medical students on 23 rd September 2019.


  1. To provide medical students with the needed awareness and good knowledge of the specialty
    of Family Medicine, its principles and practices and the critical roles of Family Physicians in
    Nigeria’s healthcare system.
  2. To provide medical students with instruction and training on the pattern and presentation of
    common undifferentiated diseases.
  3. To provide medical students with the skills and competences needed for the continuous,
    integrated, coordinated, holistic and comprehensive management of common undifferentiated
    diseases/medical conditions, as well as the healthcare needs that most of the people will have
    most of the time, irrespective of their age, and in the context of the family and environment.
    A robust healthcare system with highly skilled competent, motivated, dedicated and research
    oriented Family Physicians delivering quality patient-centered health services.
    To provide medical graduates who will provide comprehensive, integrated and personalized care
    to their patients and their families through excellent training, collaborative research and
    utilization of state-of-the art facilities, while upholding ethical standards in a multidisciplinary
  4. To impact on medical students the knowledge of comprehensive, holistic, and family
    oriented approach to patient care using the bio-psychosocial model.
  5. To educate medical students on the place of the family and the home in health promotion
    and maintenance, causation of illness and delivery of care.
  6. To acquaint medical students with the critical roles of the Family Physician in the health
    care delivery system, particularly as the front line/first contact doctor
  7. To expose medical students to the three domains of Family Medicine in which Family
    Physicians function, viz: family/home based care, primary care and health facility
    /hospital-based care.
  8. To provide medical students with the skills and competence to manage the
    undifferentiated patient by recognizing and eliciting signs and symptoms in their early
    subtle states.
  9. To acquaint medical students with the responsibility of the Family Physician in the
    continuing and comprehensive care of his/her patients in health and disease.
  10. To acquaint medical students with the responsibility of the Family Physician in ensuring
    timely and appropriate referral and sharing of care with colleagues in other specialties.
  11. To provide medical students with the ability to establish and maintain a good doctor-
    patient relationship with the patient and his/her family and harness same for optimal
    patient care.
  12. To provide medical students with good clinical and communication skills for use in all
    patient care settings, to limit morbidity and mortality, and improve the health status of the
  13. To provide medical students with exposure and knowledge of management of
    hospitals/Family clinic practices.

The attitudes expected to be acquired by medical students include the following

  1. Empathy and appreciation of the individuality of every patient.
  2. Capacity for understanding his/her own attitudes and values, their influence on his/her
    interaction with patients and the ability to adjust for this.
  3. Capacity to integrate and utilize knowledge from all clinical disciplines in patient care.
  4. Capacity for patience and thoroughness in patient evaluation and recognition of signs of
  5. A sense of responsibility for patient’s welfare and satisfaction with care received.
  6. Commitment to good quality of care, continuous professional development and update of
    clinical practice.
  7. Responsibility for continuing, comprehensive, integrated, coordinated and family-
    oriented care of the patient.
  8. Ability to communicate effectively with patients and their family.
  9. Capacity to adapt available patient’s personal and health care system resources in
    individualized patient management.
  10. Recognition of the limits of his/her knowledge and expertise, and the need for timely and
    appropriate referral.

The Family Medicine course runs over a period of four (4) weeks to cover special
lecture topics, seminars and tutorials in Family Medicine. During this period,
students rotate through the Family Medicine Clinic under the supervision of
Consultant Family Physicians. The course is delivered during the period of sub
Specialty clinical postings for medical students in the 5 th Year (500 level).
The course code for Family Medicine is FAM, with a total credit load of 24 Units.
FAM 511: Introduction to Family Medicine

  1. Definition, history, and scope of Family Medicine
  2. Principles and Tenets of Family Medicine
  3. Domains of Family Medicine
  4. Attributes of Family Physicians.
  5. The family as a Unit of Care
  6. Levels of family-oriented care
  7. Types and definition of family

FAM 512: Nigerian HealthCare System
Lecture Topics

  1. Origin, development and organization of healthcare System in Nigeria
  2. Primary healthcare system: The challenges and outcome
  3. Role of Family Physicians in Primary Medical care
  4. Economy of ill-health
  5. National Health Insurance scheme
  6. Role of Family Physicians in NHIS
    FAM 513: Principles and Practice of Family Care
    Lecture Topics
  7. Genogram
  8. APGAR and Family Circle
  10. Family conference
  11. Family Models
  12. Family in Health and Disease
  13. Family Dynamics
  14. Overview of Family Medicine Tools
  15. Dysfunctional Family
  16. Home visits.
  17. Intimate Partner Violence
  18. Child Abuse
  19. Elder Abuse
    14.Family Social support
  20. Other Social support

FAM 521: Patient Care Management in Family Medicine

  1. The Management of the undifferentiated patient
  2. Models of Medical care:
  3. The Consultation: Patient Centered Clinical Method
  4. Communication skills and application in family practice
    5.Health education and counselling in family practice
  5. Clinical Reasoning and Diagnosis in Family Practice
  6. Therapeutic decision process in Family Practice
  7. Principles of ambulatory care
  8. Referral Process in Family Medicine
  9. Record keeping in Family Medicine
    11.Spirituality in Medicine
  10. The Family in end of life care
  11. Skill set for effective consultation
  12. Coordination of patient care and advocacy
  13. Medical certification and reports
  14. Doctor-patient relationship in family care

FAM 522: Management in Family Practice
Lecture Topics

  1. Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  2. Setting up a Family Practice in Nigeria
  3. Principles and process of practice management
  4. Personnel and material management in Family Practice
  5. Financial management in Family Practice
  6. Total Quality Management
  7. Quality of health care
  8. Team building and leadership in primary care

FAM 523: Lifestyle Medicine
Lecture Topics

  1. Introduction to Lifestyle Medicine
  2. Fundamentals of Health Behavior Change
  3. Key Clinical processes in Lifestyle Medicine
  4. Nutrition science, Assessment and prescription
  5. Physical Activity science and prescription
  6. Sleep health
  7. Tobacco and Alcohol cessation
  8. Emotional Wellness

Learning and instructional methods include the following: Lectures, Seminars,
Tutorials, Clinical rotations in the Family Practice clinic and Self-learning.
Use of e-library and recommended internet Source.

The medical students have Continuous Assessment at the end of the posting
which is part of the Continuous Assessment for host department (Internal
Medicine). The final year examination is done by contribution of questions to the
Department of Internal Medicine.


Names Status Qualifications url link to Google
Scholar account

1 Dr. Vivien O. Abah Chief Hospital
Adjunct Senior


Vivien Abah

2 Dr. Osahon Enabulele Chief Hospital
(CSGI)/ Adjunct
Senior Lecturer

MBBS (March 1996),
MHPM (2001)
FWACP-FM (2007)


3 Dr. Ajokpaniovo J. Senior Consultant

Adjunct lecturer I

1 (Nov. 2008),
FWACP-FM (2011)


4 Dr. Adewole Afolabi J. Senior Consultant
(SGII)/ Adjunct
lecturer I

(2012), MSc (2019)


5 Dr. Obazee Osazee T. Hospital
Adjunct lecturer I



6 Dr. Atsikidi L. Hospital
Adjunct lecturer I



  1. Dr. Ojo Barry E Adjunct lecturer