What is #justaFP?

On the second day of medical school orientation, we played ‘Get to Know You’ Bingo, where people sign their names on the squares of a bingo sheet that describe them. I signed almost everyone’s square for ‘Wants to practice family medicine’. Reactions ranged from, “Oh really?” to, most memorably, “Actually, or are you just saying that for the game?”

Family medicine has made great strides in the last decade, with interest increasing dramatically according to CaRMS statistics. However, there is still a long way to go in terms of the hidden curriculum. Classmates seem almost embarrassed in discussions on specialty choices. “I guess I’ll just go into family med.” “I’m thinking about just doing family med.” “You’re just going to be a family doc? But you’re so smart!”

Just. What an interesting word. Family physicians are the gatekeepers to the healthcare system: the first point of contact for their patients. They care for individuals (and often their entire families) for decades at a time. Many are involved in policy-making and advocacy for both the profession as a whole as well as their patients. If that’s just what a family physician does, there should be a great deal of pride in being Just” a Family Physician.

The Family Medicine Interest Group is calling on family physicians across Canada to tell students more about what they do on a daily basis. Show us what being Just” a Family Physician entails. Email your submissions to uofmfmig@gmail.com. Submissions will be posted here as well as Twitter & Facebook using the hashtag #justafp.

Thank you for all that you do.

Dorothy Yu
Sr. Chair, Family Medicine Interest Group
College of Medicine, University of Manitoba


One thought on “What is #justaFP?

  1. Haha! I always say that while it is true that most generalist physicians probably don’t have what it takes to be a good specialist, it is also true that most specialists probably don’t have what it takes to be a good generalist.

    The specialist must maintain an intense focus on one area of interest while remaining abreast of the crest of the wave in that area.

    The generalist must be able to engage in knight’s move thinking as a matter of professional discipline, jumping from topic to topic all day long while at the same time melding together information from a huge number of sources and fitting it into the pattern of their patients’ lives.

    Yes we generalists tend to lag behind the crest of the wave by a couple of years, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. While we wait to see if the latest medical fads stand the tests of time, our patients are spared the unforeseen bad outcomes that tend to lurk around these fads.

    As for me? I love the generalist’s life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I certainly do appreciate our specialist colleagues and I value greatly their insight and advice, but I know i could never do what they do.


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