Family Medicine Department, Definition

Departments of family medicine in U.S. medical schools should be recognizable administrative units with a clearly articulated mission that includes education, research and clinical service. These departments transmit the body of knowledge defined as family medicine throughout the academic and practicing communities. If, in addition to family medicine, a department includes other major disciplines, such as community or preventive medicine, these may be reflected in the departmental title. Departments must meet the membership requirements of the Association of Departments of Family Medicine (ADFM).

Each family medicine department requires an appropriate mix of faculty educators, investigators, clinicians and administrators with university-based professional appointments. Each department must exercise administrative control over faculty, space, facilities, budget, and research functions. Departments should have:

  1. resources adequate to achieve the mission of the department and the institution; and
  2. representation, funding, space and educational venues comparable to other important clinical departments taking into consideration departmental size and mission.

A department of family medicine must include among its functions leadership in the following that are applicable to its setting: Identifiable involvement in the medical student curriculum, particularly a required medical student rotation, and collaboration with other departments to achieve institutional objectives. Department faculty must be involved in scholarly activities, including the creation of new knowledge and peer-reviewed publications. (2003) (2014 COD)