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Studies & Degrees in Medicine

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Medicine Study Programs

Level: Undergraduate Bachelors     Location: Barcelona

Medicine is the science and art of medicinal healing. It encompasses a wide range of health care practices developed to maintain and restore health by the prevention of disease and treatment of infirmities. In diagnosing and treating of disease and injury, contemporary medicine applies health science, biomedical research and medical technology basically through proper medication measures, surgery and therapies. Medicine is derived from the Latin word ars medicina which means the art of healing.

The Father of Modern Medicine is the Persian philosopher Avicenna. His contribution, the Canon of Medicine which was written during the Islamic Golden Age tackled the nature of contagious disease, discovered anesthetics and medicinal drugs, introduced quarantine and experimental medicine and the idea of clinical trials. Through the development of science and technology, medications were greatly relied on by medicine. Edward Jenner and Louis Pasteur discovered the importance of vaccinations.

In clinical practice, it is the physician’s responsibility to assess patients in diagnosing, treating and preventing the occurrence of disease conditions through the utilization of clinical judgment. The doctor-patient relationship starts initially with an interactive examination of the patient’s past and present medical history, medical records, followed by a medical interview and physical examination. A stethoscope and tongue depressor are the basic diagnostic medical devices that are typically used. Medical tests follow the initial examination of signs and symptoms such as blood tests, urine examinations, biopsy, or the prescription of pharmaceutical drugs or other therapies. It is important that the doctor informs the patient properly about relevant facts to enhance the trust in the doctor-patient relationship. It is in the medical records where the medical encounter is documented and filed.

As a part of the interdisciplinary team, most highly-trained health professionals besides medical practitioners are involved in the modern health care delivery. Some of the health professionals include nurses, emergency technicians and paramedics, laboratory scientists, respiratory therapists, dietitians, radiographers and the like.

Medicine has many specializations and sub-specializations. It varies from country to country depending on which specialties certain subspecialties are in. A medicine specialty is a branch of medical science. After a student completes medical school, physicians or surgeons usually further their medical education in a specific medicine specialty by completing a multiple-year residency. When medical specialists engage in a medical specialty, they are called Medical Practitioners.

Medical specialist usually receives an annual salary of $175, 011 in the United States; and $272, 000 for surgeons. The annual salary range does vary however because of commodity inflation, increasing negligent costs, steep price rise of rental and the like.

There are also different specialties offered from every country. In Australia and New Zealand, specialty training is overseen by specialty colleges such as the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. In Canada, it is the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada that oversees the specialty training. In India, it is the responsibility of the Medical Council of India to offer post-graduate training as well as the National Board of Examinations. In the United States, there are three recognized agencies which collectively oversee the physician board certification of MD and DO physicians in the 26 approved medical specialties acknowledged. The organizations are the American Board of Medical Specialties, American Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists and the American Osteopathic Association; the American Board of Physician Specialties and the American Association of Physician Specialists. These agencies and their associated national medical organizations each function at its various specialty academies, colleges and societies.

Job positions for Medicine:

Family Physician

Family Medicine became a medically distinct specialty in the US in 1969. A Family Physician possesses a Board Certificate in Family Medicine. The focus of the training is on treating the individual throughout all the stages of his or her life. Although Family Physicians can see absolutely anyone who has a medical problem, they are also experts in specific health problems. Most Family Physicians deliver newborn babies in addition to their total patient care. To become a Family Physician, an individual must first complete the undergraduate schooling, the medical schooling and an additional of three more years of specialized medical residency training in the field of family medicine. Family Physicians need to take a written examination every six, seven, nine or ten years in order to renew their board certification depending on which track they are choosing to maintain their certification. In order to take the examination, the Family Physician should have undergone three hundred hours of continuing education within the period of six years.

Between 2003 and 2009, the board certification process is being changed in family medicine and all the other American Specialty Boards to a series of tests to be conducted yearly on the different areas within the given specialty. The American Board of Family Medicine as well as other specialty boards is necessitating additional participation in continuous learning and self-assessments programs to enhance clinical knowledge, skills and expertise. The American Board of Family Medicine has created the Maintenance of Certification Program for Family Physicians which are requiring them to continuously demonstrate proficiency and efficiency in the four major areas of clinical practice namely: professionalism, self-assessment or lifelong learning, cognitive expertise and performance practice.

Adolescent medicine, geriatrics medicine, sports medicine, sleep medicine and hospice and palliative care medicine are some of the areas given the Certificates of Added Qualifications for the board-certified Family Physicians who have met the additional training and testing requirements. Fellowships are available as well in similar areas.

The paradigm of Family Medicine is bolstered by primary health care physicians who are trained in internal medicine; although they are only trained in this specific area, it is the adult patients who provide majority of the patient base of several of the practices in family medicine. There are rising contingents in the United States for physicians who are dually-trained in internal medicine as well as pediatrics, which will only take four years to complete instead of the three-year completion for each of the specialty. In urban and suburban areas, there are a significant number of family medicine practices that do not provide obstetric services such as litigation issues and provider preference anymore. A trend among Family Physicians is to adopt the practice model called the micro-practice or Ideal Medical Practice that focuses on reducing their overhead and increase technology utilization. This system allows Family Physicians to spend more on patient interactions that result in higher satisfaction ratings.

Family Medicine in Canada performs specialized work in conditions pertaining to the reproductive disorders and reproduction. Family Physicians who are working in the hospital setting are called General Practitioners. Doctors working within an acute care setting collaborate with interdisciplinary teams that are associated with a number of services and programs to address the issues related to patient care and clinical practice. It is the doctor’s role to provide a full range of primary health care services that includes obstetrical care, newborn care and inpatient palliative care and consultation.

General Practitioner

A General Practitioner is a medical practitioner who offers primary health care and specializes in family medicine. It is the responsibility of the General Practitioner to treat acute and chronic illnesses and provide preventive care measure and health education for all ages and both sexes. General Practitioners have specific skills in treating patients with multiple health issues and co morbidities.

In Brazil, a general practice is called clinica geral or clinica medica. After graduation, any physician is allowed to practice even without training, but because of the recent efforts of the government, the Brazilian Medical Association and the specialized Sociedade Brasileira such as endocrinology and cardiology are lobbying for the demand a specialist title for such practice. General Practitioners in Brazil are currently assigned in the public health sector and are mostly young, recently graduated physicians.

In Canada, similar to the United States, two meanings have been duly designated to the term General Practitioner. The Canadian specialty is equivalent to that of the English General Practitioner training programs which accounts for 40% family medicine of the residency positions for the graduating students. A medical student must first finish four years of medical school, spend two to three years in an accredited family medicine program after which they are already eligible to undergo examination for Certification in the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Most hospitals and health regions are now requiring doctors to obtain this certification. The medical practitioners are required to document ongoing learning and upgrade activities to maintain their certificates.

General Practitioners in Canada function in private practices. They are not government employees nor are they being paid by the government. However, majority of General Practitioners are remunerated through their provincial governments’ publicly-funded health insurance plans, through numerous payments mechanisms consisting of fee per service privileges, salaried positions and alternative payment plans.

In the United States, General Practitioners are holder of a license to practice the profession. Their only requirement to obtain such a practice is to be enrolled in or have completed one year of training more commonly known as the rotating internship. All licensed General Practitioners who are unable to complete a three to ten year residency are legally allowed to practice medicine in the specific state within which they have been licensed. The United States Navy has employed many of these General Practitioners who are formally known as General Medical Officers in active practice. Prior to 1970, the terms General Practitioner and Family Practice were synonymous. Now, a General Practitioner who specializes in family medicine is required to complete a residency in family medicine and must be eligible for the possession of a board certification.

In India, one has to enroll in a medical college that is recognized by the Medical Council of India and there, complete a four and a half-year course for the Bachelor of Science in Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery obtain registration, in order to become a General Practitioner.

Rotating internship requires one more additional year for the Medical Council of India to confer a permanent registration which permits the holder to practice as a General Practitioner. As early as the age of 17, an individual can qualify to attend a medical course granted that, he or she has completed a two-year-pre university course with one major subject in Biology.