About WONCA Europe

WONCA is an acronym comprising the first five initials of the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians.

The short name is the World Organization of Family Doctors. WONCA was established by 18 members in 1972. It currently consists of 122 member organisations in 102 countries, with a total of 500,000 family doctors. WONCA represents and acts as an advocate for its constituent members at an international level, where it interacts with world bodies such as the World Health Organization. It is comprised of seven regions: Africa, North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, South Asia, Iberoamericana-CIMF and WONCA East Mediterranean Region.

WONCA Europe
The European Regional Branch, WONCA Europe, is the academic and scientific society for general practice/family medicine in Europe. We represent 47 member organisations and more than 90,000 family doctors in Europe. 

Stichting WONCA Europe
Stichting WONCA Europe was established in 2007 as a legal entity registered in the Netherlands as a non profit Foundation. The Executive Board members of WONCA Europe are by regulation also the directors of the Stichting.

You can read more about WONCA Europe history here.

Membership dues and conference fees compose the main source of revenue for WONCA Europe. WONCA Europe does not receive financial support from industry sources.

Vision and Mission

WONCA Europe's vision is to improve the quality of life of people through fostering high standards of care in general practice/family medicine which:

  • is salutogenic and sustainable, carefully balancing biomedical and humanistic approaches to health, illness and disease.
  • is based on moral intent, solidarity, commitment to equity, and person-focused care.
  • is based on the best available professional knowledge and evidence.
  • is directed towards both individuals and the general population.
  • minimises unwarranted medicalization, under- and overdiagnosis, overtreatment, polypharmacy, and risk labelling associated with interventions of disputable benefit.


  • Facilitate professional development and research in and on general practice and on the premises of general practice, by providing a forum for exchange of knowledge and information; supporting the development of the academic organisations in our discipline; and, working on, and advocating for, educational, research and service provision activities of family doctors.
  • Stimulate publishing of original research and innovative analyses in peer-reviewed scientific journals relevant to general practice.
  • Run the European Journal of General Practice
  • Run the annual Wonca Europe Congresses of General Practice
  • Participate in our world organization WONCA World
  • Promote WE at the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA),
  • Facilitate active participation of our national as well as international networks on research (i.e. EGPRN); quality of care (i.e. EQuiP), rural medicine (i.e. Euripa), professional development and teaching (i.e., EURACT), preventive medicine and overdiagnosis (i.e. EUROPREV), and arenas for young doctors interested in general practice (i.e., Vasco da Gama Movement).
  • Encourage active participation in other congresses and meetings relevant to the WEs vision and mission.
  • Stimulate the creation of enjoyable and rewarding professional and social arenas characterized by personal relationship building, support and networking among general practitioners at all career stages (from students, young doctors i.e. NYGP, to seniors) and relevant co-workers and co-thinkers.
  • Promote generalist leaders; clinical, organisational, and political/societal.

Our ethical and moral intentions described in our core values and principles are:

  1. Person-centred care
  2. Equity of care
  3. Continuity of care
  4. Science oriented medicine
  5. Professionalism in care (professional development, education and training)
  6. Cooperation in care
  7. Community oriented medicine

Here you can read more about core values. Here is a graphic presentation of core values.

Our Structure

We support the professional development, research, education and quality improvement of general practice/family medicine, through our networks and special interest groups.


Special Interest Groups

Membership Structure
National Colleges, Academies, or Academic Associations of General Practice/Family Medicine, representative of the family doctors of that country, can become full or associate members of WONCA World and participate in the regional activities of WONCA Europe. They can also appoint one member to the WONCA Europe Council, which represents the governmental and administrative body of the organisation. Individual members can become direct members of WONCA Europe.

Established in 1995, the European Journal of General Practice (EJGP) is the official journal of WONCA Europe. It is an open access, international, peer-reviewed scientific journal, publishing high-quality, original research. In line with our mission, EJGP aims to foster scientific research in primary care in Europe, and stimulate education and debate, relevant for the development of primary care in our region.

Bursaries and Awards
WONCA Europe gives out an Award of Excellence in Health Care – The 5 Star Doctor – each year, as well as funds for special projects, and runs an annual scholarship programme.

Annual Meeting
A WONCA regional conference takes place each year and includes a meeting of the WONCA Europe Executive, a meeting of WONCA Europe Council and a scientific and educational conference.

For more information, contact us at WONCA Europe Secretariat:
Adm. Secretary Barbara Toplek
E-mail: SecretariatEurope@Wonca.net

Last modified on 22 Sep 2023.