The General practice Clinic (or General Out-Patient Department) of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital which was a precursor of the department of family medicine, was established in 1973, under the headship of Dr. J.A.Ehanire. It started as strictly a service providing general out-patient primary care unit. There was no Residency program in place, and so no Teaching or Research was done. The patients that presented were evaluated (Clerked, examined and assessed), with the majority referred to the Consultant Out-Patient Clinics of UBTH, or to Accident and Emergency Unit for further evaluation and probable admission. A few were treated and allowed home (from the GOPD). The patient turn-out continued to increase over the years.
In 1980, the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria established its youngest Faculty, namely, Faculty of General Medical Practice. The College then awarded the then Head of Department (Dr. J.A.Ehanire) an honorary fellowship of General Medical Practice by virtue of his long years of service and experience in General Practice. The department was also accredited in 1987 to train Residents in General Practice. This was the trend in the country then, with General Out-Patient Departments with experienced general practitioners (usually chief medical officers), being awarded the fellowship of General practice and given accreditation to start a Residency Program in General Medical Practice.
Dr. J.A. Ehanire retired from service in July 1992, and Dr. M.A. Momodu became the Acting Head of Department. The Residency Program did not make much progress during this period probably because he was not similarly awarded an honorary fellowship of the faculty of General Practice.
On 16th April 1997, Dr. D.D. Uyagu, a fellow by examination was appointed into the Department and in October same year was appointed Head of Department.
The Residency Program then received a boost and academic activities have since been better established.
In about the year 2000, the National Postgraduate Medical College effected a change of name from General Medical Practice to Family Medicine, in accordance with the global trend, and to capture the family-oriented care that had gained prominence in the young evolving specialty. Currently, there are six consultants (Fellows by examination);
1. Dr. V. Abah
2. Dr. O. Enabulele
3. Dr. J. Ajokpaniovo
4. Dr. A. Adewole
5. Dr. L. Atsikidi
6. Dr. O. Obazee
Senior Registrars – 11
Registrars – 17
Medical Officer – 2
Fellows – 6