Family Medicine FAQ

One healthcare term that you hear a lot is "family medicine." Many people, however, may not be sure what family medicine entails or exactly what services are provided by family medical care practitioners. This article aims to fill in some of the gaps you might have about family medical care. Here are several frequently asked questions on this important topic.

What Do Family Medicine Specialists Do?

Family care doctors offer a wide range of services to their patients. They not only focus on wellness and preventative medicine but also provide treatment for acute and chronic conditions. In some instances, such as when dealing with patients who have chronic illnesses, the family medicine specialist will coordinate with other medical specialists so as to give the patient the most effective and comprehensive care possible. They may provide general counseling for people who are in good health and simply want to maintain a healthy way of life. Routine checkups are also one of the main services offered by these physicians.

Who Do They Treat?

Family care doctors typically treat individuals of all ages. This distinguishes them from specialists who treat only patients of a specific age, such as pediatricians, who treat children, and geriatric specialists, who treat the elderly. It also separates them from internists, who focus only on adults.

Because they treat everyone regardless of age, family care providers are able to improve and maintain the health of the entire family, from children to the very elderly and anyone in between. Since they treat the entire family, these doctors are able to understand their patients' lives in an in-depth way that might not be possible for other health care provides and develop close relationships with all of the family members.

What Is the Training for a Family Medicine Specialist?

After completing medical school, a graduate looking to specialize in this field will typically enter a residency program that focuses on family medicine. The residency generally lasts for three years, although it could be a four-year program in some cases. They will often eventually receive board certification from an accredited certification provider such as the American Board of Family Medicine, or ABFM. Family health practitioners may also seek and obtain additional board certifications is various other specialties, such as adolescent medicine and sports medicine.

To learn more about this subject or to obtain high-quality medical care for you and your loved ones, contact or make an appointment with a family care doctor in your city.