Chair's Message

This month the Department of Family Medicine celebrated another graduation of a cohort of new family physicians, which is always a proud moment.

We know from our own data that approximately 70 per cent of graduates say they will practice comprehensive family medicine, but a clear definition of comprehensive family medicine remains elusive. The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) refers to comprehensive care in the context of the Patient’s Medical Home as a complex basket of medical services that is provided by the Team. At the core of the Team in the Patient’s Medical Home is the patient’s personal family physician who will be the most responsible provider of his or her medical care. This physician will provide and coordinate a comprehensive basket of services for patients and do so continuously over time.1

The CFPC also recommends that family physicians with special interests, and focused practice family physicians, should be part of the Patient’s Medical Home and collaborate with the patient’s personal family physician to provide timely access to a broad range of primary care and consulting services.

For family medicine training programs this means a delicate balance between generalist family medicine training and special interest training, as both are important to the future of primary care. In my opinion, the main focus of our training should be the generalist family physician since this is the training that produces the personal family physicians, as described in the Patient’s Medical Home model, for Canadians. 

Family physicians should graduate from our training programs prepared and committed to provide care for patients of all ages, of both genders, with any presenting problem, and in a variety of settings. They should be committed to care for acute and chronic conditions, illness and injury, and provide prevention, screening and health promotion. We, at Western, remain firmly committed to such training.

As this is the last newsletter for this academic year, I wish everyone a happy and healthy summer. As always, I welcome your feedback at

1 The Patient’s Medical Home, College of Family Physicians of Canada,