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History of the Department of Family Medicine

Family Medicine is the medical speciality that provides continuing and comprehensive health care for the individual in a holistic manner within the context of his or her family and the environment. It encompasses all ages, sexes and every disease entity, integrating biological, clinical and behavioral sciences. It provides primary care and in Nigeria, the term “Frontline Doctor” has been adopted.

The department of Family Medicine has been in existence since the establishment of the University College Hospital, Ibadan in 1957. It was then known as the General Practice Clinic and was manned by Hospital Medical Officers. This at the time was the major service area of the hospital which served two key functions, namely:

  1. To regulate admission and attendance at any of the specialty clinics within the hospital.
  2. To provide conditions upon which the patients may be so admitted or attended to.

The clinic thus gave medical care to many people and afforded the medical officers the opportunity to gain experience in the diagnosis and treatment of many conditions that neither required specialist nor in-patient care. They also learnt to manage seriously ill patients at an early stage.

During this arrangement, it was observed that the teaching potential in the department was excellent, thus leading to the subsequent replacement of the medical officers with registrars from the Department of Medicine.

In addition, a teaching unit with a laboratory was added in 1968 to cater for the training of medical students.

The clinic also attended to non-trauma emergency cases and was open twenty-four hours.

During the years of the Nigeria civil war, emergency services had to be discontinued due to work overload on the staff. The after 4.00pm service was subsequently transferred to the Casualty Department. The name of the clinic was thereafter changed to the General Outpatients Department.

It catered for all members of the public with or without referral letters and members of staff and their families. The services that were being rendered to the general public and the staff/staff families were eventually separated into two departments with their own staff complement as a result of improved structural organization.

The General Out-patients Department (GOPD) apart from providing quality care to the general public, commenced the post graduate training in Family Medicine, following the accreditation of the Hospital to train Postgraduate Resident Doctors in General Medical Practice/Family Medicine in 1980.

The name of the department was later changed to the Department of Family Medicine in 2013.

A more person-centered type of care has been instituted to further improve patient satisfaction.

Currently, the Department of Family Medicine still attends to about 60,000 patients annually.

The first Head of the Department was Dr. K.M. Cobban who led the Department from 1957 through 1965. However, Dr. Alaba Kalejaiye was the first indigenous Head of the Department. Her period of headship, spanned from 1983 through 1996. Below is the list of the heads of the Department from inception till date.




Period of Headship


Dr. K.M. Cobban



Dr. S. Reddy



Dr. Angela Cooke



Dr. Alaba Kalejaiye



Dr. M.M.A. Ladipo



Dr. A.E. Irabor



Dr. A.M. Ogunbode



Dr. O. Mosuro



Dr A.A Adetunji



Dr A.E Irabor



The vision of the department is to be the leaders of family-centered quality medical care, delivered with compassion and professionalism, by valued and dedicated staff, based on excellence, equity and accountability in service, teaching and research

To deliver comprehensive, integrated and accessible family centered medical services through healthcare, teaching and research


Our core values: Hope, Dignity, Equity and Love
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