Strengths and Weaknesses of Family Physician MPH Course in Iran: The Viewpoints of Managers and Physicians

Pejman Aghdak, Tahere Changiz, Abtin Heidarzadeh


Background: Since 2009, the MPH course has been implemented in Iran. After eight years, this study aimed to evaluate family physician MPH program in Iran.

Methods: This cross‑sectional study was conducted on 255 graduates of family physician MPH, selected through simple random sampling and 95 managers who were involved in the design and implementation of the course in 13 universities, selected by census method, in 2017. Data collection tools were two researcher‑made questionnaires, delivered to the subjects through emails. Data analysis was performed in SPSS version 21 using central and dispersion indices, Chi‑square, and independent t‑test.

Results: Approximately half of the participants considered the course length as appropriate, 14.5% of them considered the duration of the course short, and 28.9% of them considered it long and there was no significant difference between the views of managers and physicians in this regard. On the other hand, there was a significant difference between managers and physicians regarding the variables of cost‑effectiveness, motivation to participate in the course, the necessity of presenting the thesis, applicability of the content, comprehensibility of the content of the course, and desirability of the course load. Thus, a higher percentage of managers acknowledged the necessity of theses and duties as well as the applicability of the content, and a higher percentage of physicians referred to cost‑effectiveness and the motivation to participate in the course.

Conclusions: According to the results of the study, the participants have proposed some strategies, such as revising the educational content, clarifying the future position of the trained physicians and granting privileges, specifying the program goals, being accurate in selecting motivated applicants with an interest in this field in order to improve the quality of educational courses.


Education; family; physicians; program evaluation


Hafezi Z, Asqari, Momayezi M. Monitoring performance of

family physicians in Yazd. Tolooe Behdasht 2009;8:16‑26.

Shadpour K, Pileroudi S. Health for All and Primary Health

Cares in 20th and 21st Centuries. Tehran: Nashreh Tandis Pub;

p. 192‑213.

Moradi‑Lakeh M, Vosooghi‑Moghaddam A. Health sector

evolution plan in Iran; equity and sustainability concerns. Int J

Health Policy Manag 2015;4:637‑40.

Takian A, Doshmangir L, RashidianA. Implementing

family physician programme in rural Iran: Exploring the

role of an existing primary health care network. Fam Pract


Yazdani SH. Family Physicians: Whats and Whys. Capacity

Building in Health Network. Ministry of Health and Medical

Education Network Management Center. Tehran: Roozaneh

Publications; 2015. p. 46.

Changiz T, Fakhari M, Jamshidian S, Zare S, Asgari F.

Systematic review of studies in the feild of competencies of new

or soon To Be‑Graduated physicians in Iran. Strides Dev Med

Educ 2015;12:325‑43.

Amini M, Doostkam A, Kajuri J, Abdolahfard Gh, Iravani K,

Nabiei P, et al. An evaluation study of virtual master of public

health in family medicine in Shiraz university of medical

sciences, Iran. Strides Dev Med Educ 2013;10:322‑7.

Khadivi R, Milani S, Karimi‑Khuzani M, Motamedi N,

Moghadas T. The effect of distance education on knowledge

and attitude of general practitioners who applied to participate

in family physician program in urban areas of Isfahan province,

Iran. J Isfahan Med Sch 2017;34:1496‑506.

James PA1, Cowan TM, Graham RP, Majeroni BA. Family

physicians’ attitudes about and use of clinical practice guidelines.

J Fam Pract 1997;45:341‑7.

Shearer S, Toedt M. Family physicians’ observations of their

practice, wellbeing, and health care in the United States. J Fam

Pract 2001;50:751‑6.

Sherman EC. Using distance education for an MPH degree

in health services administration for physicians. Acad Med


Nojomi M, Alborzi F, Shirazi M, Geranmayeh M. Evaluation

of modular training of family physicians’ higher management

course in Iran. Educ Strategy Med Sci 2014;7:339‑44.

Bazargan A. Internal evaluation as an approach to revitalize

university systems: The case of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

High Educ Policy 2000;13:173‑80.

Ebrahimi S, Kojuri J. Assessing the impact of faculty

development fellowship in Shiraz university of medical sciences.

Iran Med 2012;15:79‑81.

Khogali SE, Davies DA, Donnan PT, Gray A, Harden RM,

McDonald J, et al. Integration of e‑learning resources into a

medical school curriculum. Med Teach 2011;33:311‑8.