A qualitative study of young Nigerian family physicians' views of their specialty
South African Family Practice
In Nigeria, the specialty of family medicine (FM) has endured its own share of identity crises. This study was aimed at generating hypotheses about what describes a practising family physician (FP) and the specialty, according to young Nigerian FPs. Methods: Using the online platform for young African FPs alongside text messages and emails from volunteer research assistants over an eight-week period (March 3 to April 30, 2015), a purposive sample of young Nigerian FPs were asked to describe
... ked to describe their favourite aspect of FM in a single word/phrase. Responses were provided in English/individual's mother tongue. Translation of the words was performed by respondents and additional collaborators fluent in these languages. Thematic analysis using the grounded theory approach was performed. Results: Twenty-four responses were received consisting of four themes: Scope, Family, Skills/Feelings/Values, and Professional Fulfilment. The resulting data portrayed the FP as one who possesses a unique skill-set, enjoys fulfilment in the profession, deals with undifferentiated diseases and is able to provide holistic care for patients (irrespective of age and gender) from a familycentred perspective. When compared with accepted domains of FM for Africa and Europe, roles of the FP in community-oriented care and primary care management were absent. Conclusion: While this showcases the young Nigerian FPs' acceptance of their role in providing comprehensive primary care, it suggests a lesser acceptance of their role in community-oriented primary care as well as primary care management. This study provides a basis for future, quantitative research describing attitudes and competence in these areas.