Family medicine and COVID-19- special edition of the EJGP

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly and perhaps permanently changed how we work as family doctors. However, this shift has gone largely without accurate prospective decision-making and evaluation of the impact of these changes on quality, patient safety, clinical outcomes, and the patient-physician relationship. This WONCA Europe Special Issue looks to examine this shift in further detail and welcomes submissions considering the impact of COVID-19 on Family Medicine. Potential topics of interest include -

  • The move to remote healthcare services, including correspondence, telephone and video consultations and even the utilization of remote devices for physical examination.
  • The reduced availability of preventive medicine
  • The growing burden of mental health issues among our patients because of the many and various impacts of COVID-19.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on the management of other acute and chronic diseases, including increased difficulty of access to primary healthcare and specialist services.
  • The vaccination and corresponding anti-vaccination movements against COVID-19, and any further impacts on routine vaccination in children and adults.
  • COVID-19 has affected not only our clinical practice but also medical education at all levels of family medicine training. Distance learning and the massive use of other remote educational techniques, never adequately tested before, is another challenge caused by the pandemic.

These are only a handful of the implications amongst the many issues that have an immediate and future impact on how family medicine will function as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A PubMed search using the term “COVID” yields more than 210,000 publications. While adding the terms “family physician” or “general practitioner” reduced this to only a few hundred. WONCA Europe, the European association of family doctors and general practitioners, wants to help fill this gap in the scientific evidence through this Special Issue focused on the impact of COVID-19 on all aspects of family medicine.

Special Issue Guest Editors

  • Prof. Shlomo Vinker, MD, MHA, Vice Dean and the Department of Family Medicine, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel,  WONCA Europe President
  • Prof. Adam Windak, MD, PhD, Head of the Department of Family Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland

Special Issue Guest Associate Editors

  • Prof. Thomas Frese, MD, PhD, Institute of General Practice and Family Medicine, Germany, WONCA Europe President Elect
  • Prof. Mehmet Ungan, MD, PhD, Ankara University School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, WONCA Europe Immediate Past President
  • Prof. Josep M. Vilaseca, MD, PhD, MBA, MSc, Hon. Treasurer WONCA Europe, Member of the WONCA World Working Party on Quality and Safety (WWPQS), Member of the WONCA World Working Party on Education (WWPE)
  • Prof. Zalika Klemenc Ketis, MD, PhD, Medical Faculty, University of Maribor, Slovenia, WONCA Europe Member at Large, EQUIP Representative