World Family Doctor Day 2012

April, 2012

May 19, 2010 was declared World Family Doctor Day by the then outgoing Wonca World President, Chris van Weel, at the opening of the Wonca World Conference, in Cancun, Mexico. This concept of a World Family Doctor Day had earlier been discussed and accepted by the Wonca Executive Committee over several committee meetings during the triennium and subsequently endorsed by the Wonca World Council, in Cancun, just prior to the conference opening.

From the applause and cheers in the council hall, it was clear to all at the World Council that the idea of a separate day in a calendar year, set aside to highlight the role and contribution of the family doctor / general practitioner, was very well received. An application was subsequently made to the WHO to officially appoint a special date in the calendar as ‘World Family Doctor Day’. Regretfully, that proposal was not accepted by the WHO.

It was then decided by the Wonca Executive Committee of this triennium ( 2011 – 2013 ) that Wonca will continue to have May 19 of each year as World Family Doctor Day, beginning with 2011.

The first World Family Doctor Day was hence celebrated on May 19, 2011, and it seemed to have been taken up with enthusiasm around the world. Many member organizations accepted the challenge to celebrate World Family Doctor Day, on May 19 2011.

There were many meetings and celebrations held with media releases to inform the public of the events and activities to commemorate that special day. Wonca member organizations in Australia, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, the USA, Taiwan, Myanmar, Ghana, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Khazakstan, Netherland, Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Canada, Croatia and the Philippines held specially tailored events. The Wonca Iberoamericana- CIMF Region published an informative article on its homepage which provided some of the history of our discipline.

This year, Wonca will again celebrate World Family Doctor Day on May 19, 2012.

I hope that even more Wonca member organizations will take this opportunity to organize special events and media publicity to draw the attention of the world to the role family doctors / general practitioners play, in caring for the health of the people.

World Family Doctor Day provides the opportunity to celebrate the role of the family doctor / general practitioner in health care systems around the world. Family doctors, their families, their patients and their other colleagues in family medicine / general practice are encouraged to take part. This special day will open up many opportunities to highlight the important contributions of family doctors globally. Most importantly, World Family Doctor Day will provide recognition to family doctors and hopefully lead to increased morale, as well as the opportunity to highlight important issues relating to family doctors and the work they perform in supporting health care for all people in our local communities, our nations and around the world.

On May 19, 2012, let us celebrate our discipline and let the world know of the contributions we make as family doctors / general practitioners to global health.

Dr Alfred Loh
Chief Executive Officer
World Organization of Family Doctors
Email: ceo@wonca.com.sg


A letter from the WONCA CEO

Dear Colleagues

re: celebrating World Family Doctor Day 19 May 2012

WONCA declared World Family Doctor Day in Cancun, Mexico in 2010.

The first World Family Doctor Day was celebrated on 19 May 2010. It has been taken up with enthusiasm around the world and has given us a chance to celebrate what we do to provide recognition to family doctors, to highlight important issues and the work we perform in supporting health care for all people in our local communities, our nations and around the world.

We have much to celebrate as governments around the world have really begun to realise the value of our specialty. In some countries there is work to do, and celebrating World Family Doctor Day will open up many opportunities to highlight the important contributions of family doctors.


This day will also create an atmosphere of global solidarity among family doctors and it will be a positive and visible contribution of WONCA’s leadership and contribution to family medicine.

In 2011, many of our member organizations reported on their unique celebrations on World Family Doctor Day. Attached is the Special Feature published in the June 2011 issue of WONCA News for your reference (see in particular pages 7-14).

For 2012, I would like to ask you to send in your organization’s proposed activities to commemorate World Family Doctor Day on 19 May 2012 for publication in WONCA News and on the WONCA Website www.GlobalFamilyDoctor.com to share with our colleagues around the world.

Dr Alfred Loh



Submit your World Family Doctor Day plans Please email your organization’s planned activities by 14 May 2012 to both Dr Karen Flegg, WONCA Editor at karen.flegg@optusnet.com.au and the WONCA World Secretariat at
admin@wonca.com.sg