What Is a Family Doctor?
posted by Nolan Money, MD | October 6, 2015
In the fragmented world of healthcare, one thing remains constant: family doctors are dedicated to treating the whole person. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. The family doctor cares for patients of all genders and ages and advocates for the patient in a complex healthcare system. About one in five of all office visits are made to family doctors.
The specialty of family medicine was created in 1969 to fulfill the generalist function in medicine, which declined with the growth of sub-specialization after World War II. Since its creation, the specialty has delivered on its promise to provide personal, front-line medical care.
Today, family doctors provide the majority of care for America’s underserved rural and urban population. In fact, family doctors are distributed more proportionately to the U.S. population than any other physician specialty. Because of their extensive training, family doctors are the only specialists qualified to treat most ailments and provide comprehensive healthcare for people of all ages—from newborns to seniors.
Family doctors complete a three-year residency program after graduating from medical school. As part of their residency, they participate in inpatient and outpatient learning and receive training in six major medical areas: pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, psychiatry and neurology, surgery and community medicine. They also receive instruction in many other areas including geriatrics, emergency medicine, ophthalmology, radiology, orthopedics, ENT and urology.
Family doctors deliver a range of acute, chronic and preventive medical care services while providing patients with a patient-centered medical home. In addition to treating illness, they also provide preventive care, including routine checkups, health-risk assessments, immunizations, screening tests and personalized counseling on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Family doctors also manage chronic illness, often coordinating care provided by other specialists. From heart disease, stroke and hypertension, to diabetes, cancer and asthma, family doctors provide ongoing, personal care.
As a Revere Health physician, Dr. Money takes pride in caring for his patients. Their health and happiness are his top priority, and he takes time to educate and communicate with each of his patients. Communication is essential to an effective doctor/patient relationship. Dr. Money works directly with patients and families to create a healthcare plan specific to their needs and goals.
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.
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