Tips for DNB-Family Medicine seekers: Updated

During PG admission times, online fora buzz with a lot of anti-Family Medicine chatter. Most of the negative chatter is by people with anonymous names and profiles. There is a strong suspicion that these are people who scored low ranks in PG entrance exams. They start commenting against FM in online fora and chatrooms such as RxPG.
The reason? The only hope of these people landing any PG seat is by scaring away those ranked higher than them from taking those seats. Such people exist in most fora (not only FM) and will be usually seen attacking a particular hospital/ city/ state (where they actually desire to get their own seat).

Think twice before reaching a conclusion based on anonymous chatter.

FM seats in better centers are being taken well before conventional specialties such as surgery, medicine, anesthesia etc in average places over the last several years. Most non-clinical specialties no longer figure anywhere near Family Medicine in comparison anymore.

However, FM is not for everyone. 1. Do NOT take FM simply because you are not getting anything “else” in your preferred institute/ city/ state etc.

Read up about FM on the net. FM has a lot of strengths and a few boundaries.
Understand the concept.

Depend on advice from those who KNOW about it, not from those who know nothing about it. Be careful who you seek advice from. Make an informed choice.

2. Do NOT take FM under the mistaken belief that it is “light” training.

In fact due to the vast scope of FM, it becomes crucial that you see as many patients as possible, spend as much time with teachers as possible, and know as much of real-life applications of medical knowledge as possible. In simple terms, it demands a vast breadth of knowledge, and more efficient learning. icon_wink.gif

The hard work and genuineness in attitude always pays off.

3. An odd FM-trained person here or there sporadically gives negative views about FM as a specialty.

The usual story in such cases is that – the person failed as a “person”, and the specialty was never to blame. Not every Neurologist/Cardiologist etc is a smashing success; the same applies to FM too.The problem with the the odd person who “failed” or “left” FM is that such people fail to look “within” and need something to deflect blames on. In all likelihood, such people never passed FM finals due to various reasons and “warn” others accordingly.

So again- be watchful. Seek balanced, unbiased opinions.

4. State/ National level Family Medicine CMEs are held every 6-12 months somewhere or the other.

Attend and interact with seniors to get a clearer idea what it is all about and what all is going on world-wide in the field of FM. While at it, don’t be surprised with the strong, ubiquitous presence and progress of FM in several developed Nations.

5. Outside the syllabus, FM training demands a good attitude, willingness to learn from everything and everyone (humility), a highly logical thought process, ability to see, analyze and manage a variety of scenarios in practice, several managerial qualities, empathy, communication skills, patience and an open mind- some of these are traits which can be done away with in several other specialties, which need different personal aptitudes and skill sets.

As a career, FM is awesome; let there be NO DOUBT about this. Go through this link  for an idea about how it is at least in the corporate sector. It was published in an International journal as far back as 2013 and the scenario has only improved for competent FM specialists.

But if FM doesn’t suit you as a person, better NOT take this .


Looking back, for example, the movie “Munnabhai MBBS” was all about Family Medicine! The movie exploited the public’s desire for the need for doctors with technical + apt humane qualities, which was the basic message of the popular movie.Scene: Dissection hall;

Munnabhai, to the Dean:
” Dekh, apun ko na, ek “full-to” Doctor banneka hai. Specialist nahi- ke gale ke Doctor ko pata nahi, ke ghutne me kya chalrela hai”.Remember the cheering and whistling in the theater to this dialogue?If you love that kind of concept, go ahead, and join. Otherwise, better look for something “better”.icon_biggrin.gifCheers!Dr Bijayraj R

Consultant and I/C, FM.
Dep. Co-ordinator, Dept of DNB, AsterMIMS- Calicut.
Founder-President, Academy of Family Physicians of India- Kerala Chapter.
Secretary, IMA-CGP, Calicut.



About drbijayraj

Physician l Learner l Learning facilitator l Satirist
This entry was posted in Family Medicine and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s