Family Medicine's Role in Undergraduate Medical Education

The AAFP recommends all medical schools incorporate exposure to family medicine as an integral part of the required curriculum during the preclinical and clinical years. The AAFP is committed to making every effort to:

  1. Ensure that all medical students, by the time they graduate, understand the importance of family medicine in leading the health care system, advocating for patients, caring for communities, and achieving health equity;
  2. Increase student choice of family medicine; and
  3. Produce a diverse family medicine workforce that meets the health needs of underserved areas

This can be achieved through early exposure to family medicine, high-quality and innovative teaching methods, longitudinal clinical experiences spanning all years, family medicine presence within the faculty and senior leadership at medical schools, family physician-role models and mentors, and institutional recognition of the value of family medicine departments for their contributions to medical education.

The AAFP specifically recommends that all medical schools provide the following evidence-based components of a mandatory family medicine clerkship:

  1. Completion by the end of the third year,
  2. Length of at least four weeks but preferably greater than six weeks,
  3. Exposure to the broad scope of family medicine,
  4. Longitudinal continuity with preceptors from preclinical throughout clinical years, and
  5. Promotion of family medicine as a calling.

(COE) (1973) (2018 July BOD)