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Family and Community Medicine




What is Family and Community Medicine?

What's in a name?

On June 14, 2005 the Department of Family Practice & Community Medicine officially became the Department of Family and Community Medicine by vote of the UK Board of Trustees. This change reflects the growing complexity of the research, educational mission, and service interests of the Department as well as the diversity of our faculty members.

Community medicine has an early tradition at the University of Kentucky. The first department of community medicine in the United States was founded here in the early 1960’s by Dr. Kurt Deuschle. Dr. Deuschle and the Department became well known worldwide for the revolutionary concepts introduced in medical education and research. In addition to the usual courses in epidemiology and biostatistics, medical students participated in some of the first-ever community preceptorships with practicing physicians. They also studied community health problems by a formalized process of a community diagnosis. Elective international clerkships were offered to selected fourth-year students to increase their skills in primary care, and carry out original research projects in their host countries. The concept of integrating the study of the community in the context of the clinical practice of medicine is a legacy we hope to maintain by the inclusion of “community” in our title.

Family medicine as a discipline also has historical roots at the University of Kentucky. Dr. William Willard, the founding dean and vice-president of the College of Medicine, was the chair of the AMA Committee that produced the Willard Report, one of the seminal position papers, which led to the establishment of family practice as a new discipline. One of the faculty members in that period was Dr. Nicholas Pisacano, a general practitioner who not only had a great influence on the Willard report, but also became one of the founders of the American Board of Family Practice and served as its first executive director. The first home of the Board was in the UK College of Medicine.

It is in this context that we wish to further and preserve our original mission of the department, while at the same time, recognize the diverse nature of our research, clinical and educational mission to address community health needs and concerns in a broader sense. We also honor the memories of such outstanding leaders such as Doctors Pisacano, Deuschle, and Willard who contributed so much to American medicine. We look forward to our new role and its responsibilities.

Source: U.K. Family & Community Medicine Newsletter Issue Number 1


The Early Years (1930, 1941, 1947-1948, 1956, 1959)

The Development Years (Fall 1960, 1960ís)

Family Medicine in Kentucky/Nation Continues (1971, 1975, 1988-89, 1991, 2000-01, July 2003 & into the present)

Faculty at the University of Kentucky Department of Family & Community Medicine are deeply involved in the current trends for the specialty and improving access to care within the state. For more information, please check out your local and national family practice organizations such as:

Source: Future of Family Medicine Project/ AAFP
The Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians
History of the University of Kentucky, College of Medicine:
“A Medical School is Born” [ISBN 0913383481]

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Page last updated Wednesday, March 02, 2011