INTRODUCING THE CLINIC OF SOCIAL AND FAMILY MEDICINE
The Clinic of Social and Family Medicine (CSFM) is an independent division of the Department of Social Medicine, one of the ten Departments of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete. It is located in the Voutes Campus of the University of Crete, in Heraklion Crete. Founded in 1984 by Professor Michael Fioretos, to meet the needs of the local population and to promote research into general practice/family medicine and primary health care, the CSFM offers teaching and research opportunities to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The Clinic is headed by Professor Christos Lionis and consists of a vibrant team of health professionals and scientists, working to deliver high quality teaching and research in the field of general practice/family medicine and primary health care. The CSFM operates an outpatient unit of the University hospital, as well as a university division within an academic setting, and is the only one of its kind in Greece.
The CSFM coordinates a Practice-based General Practice Research Network in collaboration with selected Health Centers and Rural Practices on the island of Crete. The network focuses on monitoring selected chronic conditions, while being involved in a number of research protocols in the area of General and Family Medicine, and Primary Health Care. The CSFM plays a key role in developing and delivering primary health care services, particularly to people residing in rural and remote areas with limited access to health care services. In 2009, a University Primary Care Unit was established in the urban area of Heraklion with the collaboration of the Municipality of Heraklion. The unit aimed at delivering health care to economically deprived individuals. In addition, the clinic functions as training site for 6th year medical students, during their Clinical Practice in PHC course, as well as for General Practice residents.
The Clinic has established collaborative arrangements with a number of universities and research institutes in Europe and the United States of America in order to develop multicenter studies and research protocols and to encourage staff and student exchange opportunities. The CSFM believes in the benefits of cross national and multidisciplinary collaborations, and the development of methods for reforming clinical practice in primary health care, which is reflected in a number of research programs funded by the European Union.