In the realm of scientific literature, the specialty of General Practice and Family Medicine often flies under the radar, overshadowed by flashier disciplines with more immediate impact and appeal. However, a comprehensive study published in “Acta Medica Portuguesa” has put the spotlight on Portuguese contributions to this essential field. Between 2012 and 2022, Portuguese scientific output in General Practice and Family Medicine has grown exponentially, a trend that promises to continue.

A Decade of Data: The Study at a Glance

Researchers, led by João Pedro Da Fonseca Marques from the Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal, have conducted an extensive bibliometric analysis to assess the scientific production of General Practice and Family Medicine in Portugal. Using databases such as the Web of Science Core Collection and Journal Citation Reports, they gathered data on publications, citations, impact factors, and more, enabling them to paint a comprehensive picture of the field’s growth over a decade. The query used for the search consisted of terms integral to the practice of family medicine in Portugal, capturing a broad swathe of scientific articles. The study’s findings are detailed in the journal “Acta Medica Portuguesa” with the DOI: 10.20344/amp.19750.

The Significant Findings

The study revealed a remarkable annual average growth rate of 36.6% in national scientific production. Out of 389 publications, the majority were articles (73.8%), followed by review articles (11.8%), with the predominant language being English (88.4%). Notably, the areas of ‘General Internal Medicine’ and ‘Public Environmental Health’ dominated the journals in terms of publication numbers.

Portuguese outputs have not just vastly increased in number, but they also display a growing influence, receiving a total of 5354 citations. This translates to an impressive average citation count of 13.76 per article with an average yearly citation growth of 115%. These figures suggest an escalating interest and acknowledgment from the international scientific community.

Regarding the quality of journals, the study found a healthy distribution across the Impact Factor quartiles. Namely, 22.5% of journals fell within Q4, 27.5% in Q3, 29.7% in Q2, and 20.3% in Q1. Hence, there is no significant skew towards lower or higher impact journals, illustrating the robustness and the scientific community’s recognition of Portuguese research in this area.

The European Context and Beyond

Benchmarked against other European countries, Portugal’s scientific activity is measured in terms of publications per inhabitant and publications per physician. The analysis shows that when it comes to General Practice and Family Medicine, Portuguese researchers are actively contributing to the pool of scientific knowledge at levels comparable to their counterparts in the region. This growth in Portuguese literature not only elucidates national healthcare issues but also contributes valuable perspectives to a European and global audience.

Implications for the Future of General Practice and Family Medicine

The upward trend in scientific production is a testament to the increasing recognition of the importance of General Practice and Family Medicine. As primary care serves as the bedrock of effective and accessible healthcare systems, the wealth of research being conducted in Portugal signifies a robust knowledge base that can inform practice and policy both nationally and internationally.

Reflections on the Study and Its Significance

The meticulous examination of a decade’s scientific production in General Practice and Family Medicine by Portuguese authors underscores the discipline’s dynamic evolution. Through publications that bridge research and clinical practice, medical professionals are equipped with up-to-date knowledge and practices that ultimately benefit patient care.

The Role of Academic Institutions and Researchers

Luiz Miguel Santiago and Helena Donato, co-researchers in the study, highlight the contributions of academic institutions and researchers in propelling scientific production. Universities, especially Universidade de Coimbra, facilitate an environment that nurtures research, fosters collaborations, and promotes innovative studies that advance the collective understanding of family medicine.

Conclusion

The vibrant growth of scientific literature from Portugal in the field of General Practice and Family Medicine is a positive indicator of the country’s commitment to advancing medical knowledge and patient care. As bibliometric indicators continue improving, the global medical community can look forward to a wealth of insights emanating from Portugal’s shores.

References

1. Da Fonseca Marques, João Pedro, et al. (2024). “[Evaluation of the Scientific Production in the Field of General Practice and Family Medicine in Portugal].” _Acta Medica Portuguesa_, [Article]. DOI: 10.20344/amp.19750.

2. Journal Citation Reports. (n.d.). Retrieved from [Dedicated Website Link].

3. Scimago Journal & Country Rank. (n.d.). Retrieved from [Dedicated Website Link].

4. The Web of Science Core Collection. (n.d.). Retrieved from [Dedicated Website Link].

5. “Acta Medica Portuguesa.” (2024). _Acta Med Port_, [Journal Profile].

Keywords

1. Family Medicine Portugal
2. General Practice Research
3. Portuguese Medical Publications
4. Primary Care Scientific Output
5. Bibliometric Study Medicine