Family Medicine is the primary care medical specialty concerned with provision of comprehensive health care to the individual and the family regardless of sex, age or type of problem. It is the specialty of breadth that integrates the biological, clinical and behavioural sciences. Family physicians can themselves provide care for the majority of conditions encountered in the ambulatory setting and integrate all necessary health care services. They possess unique attitudes, skills, and knowledge, which qualify them to provide continuing and comprehensive medical care, health maintenance along with preventive, promotive and rehabilitative services to each member of the family. Family physicians, because of their background and interactions with the family, are best qualified to serve as each patient's advocate in all health-related matters, including the appropriate use of consultants, health services, and community resources.
AKU has the distinction of having the first organised residency-training programme in Family Medicine in Pakistan. The Family Medicine Residency Training Programme was approved by the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan (CPSP) in 1992 and initiated in 1993 by the Family Medicine Division of the Department of Community Health Sciences. CPSP re-approved the programme in 2003. In 1997, the Royal College of General Practitioners, UK, unconditionally approved the Programme for the MRCGP (int.) Examination.
The programme prepares family physicians to provide broad-based health care and also contribute to the evolving knowledge base of the specialty of family medicine. In addition, it prepares them to assume leadership roles in developing and expanding Family Medicine in universities, hospitals and communities across Pakistan. The programme structure supports personal and professional growth of the residents and fosters an attitude of critical inquiry, a passion for excellence and a sense of how a family physician can integrate medicine into his or her personal life.