Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care

: 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 180--181

The spice route's perspective on family medicine via the social media project “#1WordforFamilyMedicine”

Kyle Hoedebecke1, Tasneem Borhany2, Sanam Shah2, Zakiur Rahman3, Hiranthini De Silva4, Bipin Nepal5, Bhavna Matta6,  
1 Chair, WONCA Polaris, USA
2 The Spice Route, Pakistan
3 The Spice Route, Bangladesh
4 The Spice Route, Sri Lanka
5 The Spice Route, Nepal
6 Chair, The Spice Route, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kyle Hoedebecke
MEDDAC-K, Unit 15244, Box 273, APO, AP 96205

How to cite this article:
Hoedebecke K, Borhany T, Shah S, Rahman Z, De Silva H, Nepal B, Matta B. The spice route's perspective on family medicine via the social media project “#1WordforFamilyMedicine”.J Family Med Prim Care 2017;6:180-181

How to cite this URL:
Hoedebecke K, Borhany T, Shah S, Rahman Z, De Silva H, Nepal B, Matta B. The spice route's perspective on family medicine via the social media project “#1WordforFamilyMedicine”. J Family Med Prim Care [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Jan 20 ];6:180-181
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Full Text


What does it mean to be a family physician (FP)? Family medicine (FM) is a discipline with the capacity to manage patient care at all levels and stages of life in addition to coordinating between medical specialists. The global #1WordforFamilyMedicine initiative aims to explore the identity of FPs and allows the international FM community to collaborate on advocating the specialty through social media. From an advocacy perspective, the project enhances the image of our specialty worldwide and serves to augment the confidence of current and future FPs.


Trainees and FPs across the Spice Route Movement were asked the question, “What is your favorite part of Family Medicine?” via the social media platforms and in person. Responses were collected and turned into a “word cloud” image using


Over a period of 60 days responses in English and local languages and compiled into a single list. After a discussion about different image options, the national flags of Pakistan [Figure 1], Bangladesh [Figure 2], Nepal [Figure 3], and Sri Lanka [Figure 4] were selected. India, on the other hand, opted for the image or its world-renowned Taj Mahal [Figure 5].{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Figure 4}{Figure 5}

To date, over 115 images have been created in 100 different countries in all seven World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) regions.[1],[2],[3],[4] These images were viewed more than 70,000 times from across more than 115 countries.[5] This initiative highlights the importance of FM at the national, community, and individual levels. To address the importance and strength of sustainable FM all over the world, community engagement must be continued across all platforms, including social media. It is hoped that this initiative project will help inspire current and future FPs.


#1WordforFamilyMedicine has demonstrated the spirit of collaboration across the Spice Route – linking into the global movement, which was promoted by WONCA and multiple countries across the world to help celebrate this year's World Family Doctor day on 19 May.


We would like to thank everyone from the Spice Route and beyond who has contributed to the success of this project.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Hoedebecke K, Celotto S, Demurtas J. #1WordforFamilyMedicine: Ideas beyond words. Recenti Prog Med 2015;106:291-2.
2Hoedebecke K, Suarez A. Images of important significance. Arch Med Fam Gen 2015;12:53-4.
3Hoedebecke K, Scott-Jones J, Pinho-Costa L. New Zealand among global social media initiative leaders for primary care advocacy. J Prim Health Care 2016;8:94-8.
4Von Pressentin K, Hoedebecke K, Pinho-Costa L. South Africa has joined a global initiative for family medicine advocacy. S Afr Fam Pract 2016;58:28-9.
5Hoedebecke K, Pinho-Costa L. #1WordforFamilyMedicine: Highlighting the Role of General Practice/Family Medicine around the World; 2015. Available from: [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 09].