What is Family Medicine?

family medicine

Family Medicine is a medical specialty and has been around in the United States since the 1930s. During World War I and World War II, there was a tremendous shortage of doctors. This was also during a time when the pace of medicine was advancing rapidly. Many General Practitioners (GP) who went on to graduate from medical school were poorly prepared.

In response to this challenge, it was later decided that general practitioners needed to complete a Family Medicine residency program. This allowed him or her to practice both in and out of the hospital and bring greater expertise to the patient. In 1969, Family Medicine formally known as general practice (GP) was formally recognized as a specialty by the American Board of Family Medicine. As a result, doctors were more prepared to meet the challenges facing them in the science of modern medicine.

What Is Family Medicine?

Unlike other specialties that are limited to a particular organ or disease, family physicians are the only physicians qualified to treat most ailments and provide comprehensive health care for people of all ages (The Specialty of Family Medicine). Family medicine doctors must obtain board-certification by the governing body in order to begin practice. In the United States, the governing body is the American Academy of Family Medicine. This requires that they finish medical school in good standing and attend a family medicine residency training program. In this program, they are able to obtain additional exposure in all disciplines of medicine. This includes in the hospital and in an outpatient setting. Upon the completion of medical school and residency training, they will then have 7 years of formal medical education. Family doctors must complete all 7 years of formal education in order to write for board certification.

Once board-certified a physician can work in the hospital or ambulatory care setting such as a primary care office. A physician can do both if they choose to do so. In fact, it is not uncommon for a family medicine doctor to work in both the office and at a hospital. This provides them with the opportunity to care for the patient not only in the office but also in the hospital.

Additional Certifications for Specialization

Because there are many aspects of medicine that require additional training, family medicine doctors may seek additional experience. A few examples of fields a family medicine doctor must acquire additional experience to work in includes an emergency department, sports medicine, and geriatrics. Some even elect to explore other training opportunities such as rural training tracks where they are competent to perform surgical procedures such as C-sections, appendectomy’s, gallbladder removals, and hernia repairs.

Most family physicians however elect to take care of the family in the office setting. This often includes taking care of a patient when she becomes pregnant. They may follow their patient through pregnancy, deliver their baby and then take care of the mother and baby while they are in the hospital prior to discharge.

What Does A Family Medicine Doctor Do?

Family medicine doctors provide a comprehensive level of care to patients and their families. These doctors also provide a special and effective professional relationship. This is especially true when a patient is in need of a surgical procedure or specialist opinion. In this case, the family medicine clinician is able to refer the patient to a trusted specialist. This provides the patient with the best care available and also provides an experience that is continuous and unfragmented. As a result of this care plan, the specialist will then be able to inform both the patient and the family doctor of the care plan.

Most patients find that it is not only convenient and satisfying but they get better care. Having a good family doctor provides you with excellent care for the whole family.

Prime MD of Naples

Our primary care physicians in Naples have years of experience and are comfortable with all aspects of medicine. If an expert opinion is required, our Naples primary care doctors will refer you to a trusted specialist. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.