Family Medicine at Corporate Clinics in India: Current Scenario

Family medicine is undergoing a sudden revival in India. There is significant lack of clarity regarding the opportunities, advantages,
and challenges available in family medicine, especially in the private sector. This article is addressed to young doctors aspiring to
specialize in family medicine. It is an attempt to shed light on the present scenario of family medicine in the corporate sector in
India and make young doctors aware of the prospects in this area.

Advantages of being a family physician in a corporate
• No initial corpus required for fresh general practitioners
(GPs)/FPs to start. Generally adequately laid-out set-ups.
• Fixed salaries (sometimes offer 15-20% higher than industry
standards or more than conventional specialists; for example,
a FM qualified doctor was offered 90 K/month in Mumbai
in 2011. The industry standards for a fresh specialist at the
time were between 50 and 70 K).
• Generally fixed work timings. There is a pool of GPs on
rotation basis.
• Corporate perks.
• Steady career growth opportunity.
• Pressures of managing a solo practice are avoided: Staffing,
financial transactions, general management, and so on.
• Family medicine is advertised in various media: Online, social
networking groups, print, conducting screening camps, and so on.
• Consistent patient pool.[6]
• Business models are such that patients are likely to stay with
you (e.g. long-term membership schemes).[8]
Disadvantages
• Not all colleagues/managers may have a reasonable idea
about family medicine.
• Professional freedom may be limited: Ideas unwelcome unless
it involves significant or immediate profit.
• Continuing medical education (CME)/training opportunities
vary. Not all are supportive beyond corporate needs.
• Corporate work cultures, ethics vary.
• No formal academic positions in private chains.
• Even in the numerous private hospitals offering training for
the Diplomate of National Board (DNB) in family medicine,
very few have any faculty qualified in family medicine at
present.
• Little opportunity to run independent practice.
• Inconsistent interpersonal relations/personal ego clashes/
workplace politics.
• Commercial pressures/“targets” may need to be met.
• A major target customer group for corporate chains appears
to be affluent corporate employees. It may not be a true
reflection of family or community-based practice.
• “Family medicine concept” may be compromised especially
in tertiary level centers (work exclusively in ICUs, specialized
settings). Purpose of FM may be partly defeated.
• Other specialists (untrained in FM)/people with nonclinical
specializations (pathologists/MBA/MHA, etc.)/people with
dubious “specializations” may be practicing as FPs. Publics’
trust in FM may be eroded in the long run due to misleading
approach by non-FM-trained doctors.

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