Family doctor, also known as a Family Practitioner or a General Practitioner, is typically the first person one contacts when seeking health care. A family doctor can provide a range of medical services, ranging from treatment for seasonal colds and flu to treatment for chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) states that family physicians are dedicated to treating the whole person. As a family practitioner, you can expect to receive routine physicals, risk assessments, and vaccinations as well as screening tests and immunizations.
Depending on a patient’s symptoms and an initial diagnosis, family doctors are trained to identify illness and refer patients to specialists who can provide more advanced, targeted care.
As a result of the extensive training and knowledge they receive in a variety of medical specialties, family doctors are also able to assist and advise in areas such as heart disease and stroke, cancer, and obstetrics. Upon completing their training, they can pursue specialization in a number of major medical fields, such as pediatrics, internal medicine, psychiatry, neurology, and surgery.
In addition to offices and private practices, family doctors also provide services in hospitals, emergency rooms, and nursing homes.
In light of the fact that family doctors care for patients from birth to old age, choosing the right one for you or your family is vital in fostering an open and lasting relationship for your health and your family’s.
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