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Department of Primary Care & Family Medicine

The Department of Primary Care & Family Medicine is established to facilitate the training of students in primary care settings in Sri Lanka, using the principles of Family Medicine.

In an increasingly fragmented world of health care, the department's mission is to train doctors to provide high-quality, holistic, compassionate and integrated care.

Family medicine is the medical speciality which provides continuing, comprehensive health care for the individual and family. It is a speciality in breadth that integrates the biological, clinical and behavioural sciences. The scope of family medicine encompasses all ages, both sexes, each organ system and every disease entity. Family physicians are dedicated to treating the whole person. Family medicine's cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focusing on integrated care. 

Family Medicine is one of the six clinical disciplines named by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) in the Minimum standards of Medical Education document for M.B.B.S gazetted in Parliament.

Primary care is more than just the level of care or gatekeeping; it is a key process in the health system. Primary care is a model of care that supports first-contact, accessible, continuous, comprehensive and coordinated person-focused care. First-contact care is accessible at the time of need; ongoing care focuses on the long-term health of a person rather than the short duration of the disease; comprehensive care is a range of services appropriate to the common problems in the respective population and coordination is the role by which primary care acts to coordinate other specialists that the patient may need.

Primary Care aims to optimize population health and reduce disparities across the population by ensuring that subgroups have equal access to services. Primary care is a subset of Primary Health Care.

Primary Care or Family medicine defined as the first contact medical speciality that manages common and long-term illnesses in children and adults, focusing on overall health and well-being. This includes management of diseases within the scope of primary care such as asthma, diabetes as well as end-of-life care. Ideally, it is the family physicians that should manage most health conditions in a community.


The principles of Primary care and family medicine are compassionate care (a caring attitude towards patients and their families shown as kindness and a desire to help), generalist approach (a perspective on the whole person and the context of illness including family, culture and society), continuity of relationship (the interpersonal bond of trust and respect between family physicians, patients, and their families that develops over the life course), reflective mindfulness (doctors' awareness of their thoughts and emotions manifested as a sense of presence and attentiveness towards self and others) and lifelong learning (a commitment to personal and professional development by participating in learning activities and practice-based research that leads to better patient outcomes). Concepts such as care coordination, preventive care, access to care, professional competence, resource management and community-based care, are part of these principles.


You will be learning Primary Care and Family Medicine from 5th to 8th semesters in the medical curriculum. Primary Care and Family Medicine clerkship is planned for semester V to VII for two-week duration with small group teaching and field visits. A guide will be given to write a portfolio during the appointment for which marks will be given at the exam. Details regarding each visit will be given at the beginning of the clerkship.