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May 31, 2016 | Family Medicine
If we asked you which type of doctor schedules the largest number of office visits every year, would you guess obstetrician? Pediatrician? Gynecologist?
Actually, it’s not any of those. Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That’s 214 million office visits each year in the United States – nearly 74 million more than the next largest medical specialty,
Unlike other medical specialists who focus on a specific type of disease or a particular part of the body, family medicine practitioners provide comprehensive care to patients of all ages and genders through all stages of life. They treat a large variety of different health conditions. “Family physicians do not treat diseases; they take care of people.”
Despite the name, you can be a single person without children and still need a family physician. What are five of the most essential roles family doctors perform for their patients
Educating patients in disease prevention and health maintenance is one of the biggest functions a family doctor performs. They care for your entire being, including your mental and emotional needs. This might take the form of helping you with:
Stress relief and anger management techniques
Weight control and nutritional counseling
Fertility testing and counseling
Suggesting the best forms of physical exercise for your fitness level
When a child has a flu virus, or you feel like you’re coming down with another bladder infection, your family doctor is your go-to medical resource for the appropriate prescription medication. If your child needs immunizations for school or camp, or you have concerns about your child’s physical growth rate, your family doctor is your first stop.
Because they provide treatment to you and your family over long periods of time, family physicians know your medical history very well. They know what’s “normal” for you, and are often the first person you confide in when you experience new or unusual symptoms. Your family doctor’s familiarity with your medical records helps him quickly recognize a significant change that might indicate a serious or hidden condition.
Family doctors are often the first to screen you for early signs of serious diseases such as cancer, and often they’re the first to detect emerging conditions. They order, perform and interpret tests to diagnose conditions, explain the results to you and then monitor your progress and reevaluate your treatment when necessary.
Stroke, heart disease, asthma, diabetes and cancer are some of the most common chronic and degenerative conditions managed by family physicians. They provide ongoing and personalized care to you through some of the most challenging times in your life, continuing to use diagnostic tests to assess your progress and determine the next best step in your individualized treatment plan.
Family practice doctors supervise nurses, physician assistants and medical assistants. They coordinate on your behalf with rehabilitation and occupational therapists, mental health workers, pharmacists, social workers and other health care providers.
They refer you to a specialist if your condition becomes serious and requires a more concentrated focus, but they stay involved and informed, acting as your primary care physician. This spares you the stress of having to figure everything out alone. Your family doctor interfaces with a collaborative network of physicians to provide you with integrated care to ensure all of your medical needs are met.
Are you ready to team up with a Family Physician who is passionate about preventive medicine and dedicated to supporting your family’s wellness through all cycles of life? Revere Health’s Orem Family Medicine and Urgent Care facility offers compassionate, patient-centered family medicine providers who are trained in a broad range of disciplines including internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology and geriatrics.
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.