You may ask, why do I need to specialize in Family Medicine? Fortunately (or unfortunately), you do not require any specialization to be a general practitioner (GP) in Malaysia as anyone with just an MBBS or an MD can be one, as long as they finish their service with the government. In other countries, a GP is a specialist, and you have to pass exams before you’re allowed to practice independently.
However, if you do plan to improve yourself, take this as a challenge, be it for self-improvement or for the betterment of the patients that you’re treating.
There are 2 pathways that you may take.
If you’re in the government sector, you can always try to get yourself into the Master Program. Total number of years for completion would take 4 years. However, there will be no guarantee of when you’ll be enrolled into the program. Just gotta keep trying until you get it. Bear in mind that you’ll be bound by the government upon completion. Failing the exam will cost you money, and yet, you will still be bonded.
For those who’s not keen on waiting, the alternative path is to take post graduate training offered by the Academy of Family Physician of Malaysia (AFPM). Duration of the program will be 4 years too. However, if you’re working as a general practitioner long enough (10 years or more), you can be enrolled into a cram course called DFM-S which takes only a year instead of two, then to continue on with the Advance Training Program (ATP). Only after ATP, you’ll be eligible to sit for the FRACGP exams. Thing is, you’ll be financially tighter as compared to taking the Master Program as you would have to fork out about RM40,000 during these 4 years, which is quite a considerable sum.
Choice is yours.