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WONCA and the WONCA Network Organisations

WONCA Newsletter

Click here for WONCA newsletters

World Book of Family Medicine (European edition)

This document was published in October 2015 and features contributions by ICGP staff members.
Click here for the document.

WONCA Overdiagnosis Position Paper

WONCA is the World Organisation for National Colleges and Academies of general practice/family medicine (GP/FM) and is based in Singapore.


WONCA is the global umbrella body for the colleges of general practice/family medicine (GP/FM). Wonca officially began at the fifth World Conference on General Practice in Melbourne in 1972. There are several regional divisions of Wonca, for example, Wonca Europe, Wonca Asia Pacific, Wonca North America,

WONCA Europe is the WONCA organisation for the European Region Essentially it is the European organisation for general practice / family medicine. It hosts an annual European GP conference in a different venue each year, and occasionally hosts the WONCA World conference.

The European Definition of General Practice/Family Medicine 

The 2023 Revision of the Definition of General Practice/Family Medicine (PDF, 1.7MB) was unanimously approved by the representatives of all Member Organizations present at the last WONCA Europe Council meeting held in Brussels, Belgium on 6 June 2023.

The 2023 revision focuses on relatively new but critically important challenges for GPs related to One Health, Planetary Health and the Sustainable Development Goals. According to the provisions of the amended Definition, these areas together form a bedrock for the functioning and development of General Practice/Family Medicine. 

WONCA annual reports

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Network organisations in Wonca Europe

  • EURACT is the European Academy of Teachers in GP/FM,
  • EGPRN is the European GP Research Network,
  • EQuiP is the European Society for Quality and Safety in Family Practice,

The presidents of each of these three main networks - EURACT, EGPRN and EQuiP - sit on the Wonca Europe Executive Committee.

Other networks

  • Europrev is the European Network for Prevention and Health Promotion in Family Medicine and General Practice,
  • Euripa is the European rural and isolated practitioners association,
  • European Young Family Doctors Movement is the WONCA Europe Working Group for New and Future General Practitioners. Click here for more information.

Individual direct membership of WONCA

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More information on WONCA Europe and its networks

The two oldest networks (EGPRN and EURACT) in WONCA Europe preceded the founding of both WONCA Europe and many of the national European colleges. Both EURACT (European Academy of Teachers in GP/FM) and EGPRN (European GP Research Network, formerly known as EGPRW) grew out of an informal meeting held at Leusden in the Netherlands, where in October 1971, representatives from bodies engaged in academic and research activities associated with general practice met to develop an international co-operation.

EGPRN and EURACT both stress that their organisations are network organisations with individual (and recently organisational) membership as the basis, whereas EQuiP has developed into an organisation with representation of the colleges only.

Later than EQuiP, EUROPREV (European Network for Prevention and Health Promotion) was formed in 1995, EURIPA (European Rural and Isolated Practitioners Association) in 1997, the European Young Family Doctors Movement in 200x. These network organisations are all open to individual memberships.

Those whose interest was research initiated the EGPRW: the Research Network, united by a common interest and a mailing list. Later, National Representatives were appointed, and they formed a Board. Meetings were organized by the Chairman in cooperation with GPs from different countries, interested in research, National Colleges (if they existed) and the Societas Internationalis Medicinae Generalis, with expenses being met by the participants themselves. The initial meetings involved countries in Northern Europe but this was rapidly extended to southern European countries and recently, ones in eastern Europe. Since November 1974, regular biannual meetings have taken place.

Those interested in education went on to form the European Academy of Teachers in General Practice (EURACT which started with the formation of the first Leeuwenhorst Group in 1974. This group felt that there was a need to develop further in order to realise its aim of promoting the discipline of general practice through learning and teaching, and that there was a need for an organisation to support the many individuals involved at all levels (undergraduate, vocational training and CME) in the teaching of general practice. Since the launch of the Academy it has grown to be the largest personal membership organisation in Europe, with 650 members in 30 countries.

When WONCA Europe was formed, EURACT and EGPRN became network European organisations of Wonca Europe with special interest in education and research respectively. EQuiP became the third network organisation when it was founded in 1991.