Aspects of the Family Health Care Professionals’ Profile: the Case of a Municipal Hub in Minas Gerais

ABSTRACT This study is an exploratory, mixed methods study aimed at identifying the profile of family health care physicians in the municipality of Governador Valadares, Minas Gerais, Brazil, as well as his/her training and work characteristics. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 36 physicians from family health care teams, using simple descriptive statistics and content analysis in a thematic-categorical mode to organize and analyze the data. The results indicated a predominance of female, Brazilian professionals aged between 24 and 35 years, trained in public institutions and specialized in the field of Family Medicine. Most interviewees belong to the Mais Médicos Program , and have remained in the same team for up to 3 years. The prominent advantages were the identification of the professionals with the work proposal and professional valuation, while the disadvantages were the unstable employment relationship, disregard by management, workplace of difficult access, and excessive demands imposed on them. The facilitating points were teamwork and good relationship with the community, while the most challenging points were the lack of human resources, equipment, finances, and technology. We highlight the importance of the attention given by management to the difficulties to adapt the infrastructure of the Health Care Units and provide a work that contributes to change the health care of the population in this region. Therefore, it is necessary to rethink how physicians can be encouraged to remain in the Family Health Care Strategy, providing them with enhanced job security and prospects. However, it is worth underlining the importance of the profile of family doctors, whose training often diverges from the National Curricular Directives for medical training. These differences make it challenging to solve the issues indicated in this study due to the lack of knowledge about the role of primary healthcare, the importance of integration of the health care network, and lack of knowledge about the physician’s attributes at this level of care.