Reasons you should have family Doctor
If you have a medical need — sudden flu symptoms, nagging back pain, an unexpected rash — who is your first point of contact?
A family physician can be the right answer for most healthcare situations.
1) Family physicians are passionate about treating the whole person.
Family medicine’s goal is to nurture an ongoing, patient-centered relationship that emphasizes individualized, integrated care over the entire lifespan of the patient. If you select a doctor that meshes well with your personality, you’ve got a supportive friend for life.
Family doctors follow your life cycle starting from treating toddlers, caring for teens and people in their 20s, treating middle-aged adults, retirees and people well into their 90s; Family doctors often see these same patients for years or even decades.
That’s typical of family practitioners. Because family doctors treat a wide range of conditions, they can be your primary care physicians at any point in your life. In the long term, that means you can build a lasting relationship with a family physician.
2) Family physicians can handle all of your preventative care needs.
You might have your first gynecological visit with your family physician and continue on with annual wellness exams through the years. Family physicians can help with premenstrual syndrome diagnosis and treatment and fertility counseling. In addition to handling your immunizations and blood and diagnostic tests, your family physician can offer personalized counseling to support your healthy lifestyle.
3) Family physicians are not limited to a particular organ or disease.
Family physicians are the only specialists qualified to treat almost all medical conditions and provide comprehensive and preventative health care for people of all ages– from infants to the elderly. They might give a toddler an immunization, and in the next appointment counsel a geriatric patient about the importance of age-related nutritional needs.
4) Family physicians receive extensive medical training.
After graduating from medical school, family physicians complete a three-year residency program in which they receive training in six major medical areas: pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, psychiatry and neurology, surgery, and community medicine. Some go on to receive instruction in other areas including emergency medicine, ophthalmology, radiology, orthopedics, and urology.
5) Family physicians manage chronic illness.
Cancer, stroke, heart disease, asthma, and diabetes—family physicians provide ongoing and personalized care for all of our most serious chronic, degenerative diseases.
6) Family physicians have the flexibility to tailor their services.
Based on their unique areas of interests and skills along with the demands of the community they serve, family physicians can incorporate a multitude of procedures into their patient care.
7) Family physicians are your advocates in a complex health care system.
Having a single point of contact in the often-overwhelming world of health care is very reassuring. Your primary care family physician runs interference for you and coordinates your care with other providers and subspecialists when needed. A collaborative network of physicians provides truly integrated and superior care to ensure all of your medical needs are met.
8) They know your personal — and family — history
When doctors treat you for years, they get to know your medical history inside and out. That helps them make accurate diagnoses, watch for red flags regarding medications and monitor changes in your health through the years.
But the “family” in family doctor matters, too. Seeing multiple generations of a family can help a doctor record an accurate, in-depth family health history. For example, if I know you had cancer at a young age, and so did your mother, that’s a red flag. I will recommend genetic counseling and offer a screening plan not only for you but also for other family members at risk. Medical history is just part of the picture. Sometimes it helps to know what’s happening at home, too. When treating a child whose parent just lost a job, for instance, that information comes into play when assessing stress and anxiety.
9) Family doctors treat more than you think
Yes, family doctors do your yearly check-up. But they also can help you manage chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. They can treat acute situations such as sinus infections and injuries. They can help you throughout a pregnancy.
They also can perform minor surgical procedures, such as freezing a wart or draining an abscess. These are but a few examples, and the list goes on.
10) When you need a specialist, they help find the right fit
When you need to see a specialist for heart disease, cancer or any other serious concern, a family doctor can help find someone who fits your specific needs — and personality.
Here’s an example: a patient who needs to see a cardiologist. a family doctor know from years of experience this patient prefers conservative treatments. That means I’ll search for a cardiologist who takes a conservative-first approach rather than someone known for aggressive treatment.
11) They can improve lives — and save money
Data suggests that adding one primary care physician (such as a family doctor) for every 10,000 people can lower hospital admissions by 5.5 percent, emergency room visits by 11 percent and surgeries by 11 percent.
Those numbers are even more impressive than cost savings. Family doctors can certainly save the country money, but more important, they can offer your family better health.