What is Family Medicine?
Family medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on the comprehensive healthcare of individuals and families across all ages, genders, and diseases. It is a primary care discipline with a holistic nature that is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide range of acute and chronic medical conditions.
Family medicine doctors, also known as family physicians or general practitioners, are trained to provide comprehensive healthcare to patients of all ages, from newborns to seniors.
Family physicians are trained to manage the overall health of patients, including physical, psychological and social well-being as well as being trained to treat a wide range of medical conditions, from minor injuries and illnesses to complex chronic diseases.
One of the main advantages of family medicine is its holistic approach to healthcare, with a focus on treating illnesses as well as disease prevention. As primary care physicians family medicine physicians learn the importance of primary care and emergency medicine straight out of medical school.
Comprehensive Health Care
Rather than focusing on a specific organ or system, family medicine doctors consider the patient as a whole and take into account their physical, mental, and social well-being.
Our primary care physicians work closely with patients to develop personalized treatment plans that consider the patient's overall health and lifestyle as well as to provide preventive care that takes recommendations made by other subspecialists for specific patient health issues and manage health risk assessments.
In addition to providing primary care, family medicine doctors also play a vital role in coordinating care provided by other subspecialists, such as cardiologists, neurologists, and oncologists, to ensure that their patients receive the best possible care.
Family physicians also play a crucial role in managing chronic medical conditions in the community, such as the management of diabetes, hypertension and asthma, whilst also working to provide preventative health care to help patients and the community avoid acute medical conditions, such as infections and injuries.
Preventive Medical Care Services
Family medicine doctors also have a strong focus on preventive care, which involves helping patients maintain good health through lifestyle changes and screenings, which can help minimise the likelihood of common ailments, acute conditions and other health related illnesses.
Family physicians may recommend diet and exercise plans, as well as screenings for conditions such as cancer and heart disease. They may also provide preventive care services, such as vaccinations, to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Family medicine doctors typically work in a variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, clinics, and health centers. They may also work in rural or underserved areas, where access to healthcare may be limited.
Heart Disease Prevention
Family physicians play a crucial role in the prevention of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide, by:
Identifying risk factors
Family medicine doctors can assess a patient's risk of developing heart conditions & chronic diseases by considering factors such as age, family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Providing preventive care
Family physicians can recommend lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking, to help reduce the risk of heart disease. They may also recommend screenings and preventive care measures, such as cholesterol checks and vaccinations.
Managing chronic conditions
If a patient has a chronic condition, such as diabetes or hypertension, family medicine doctors can work with them to manage their condition and reduce the risk of heart disease. This may involve prescribing medications, providing nutrition and exercise guidance, and monitoring the patient's progress.
If a patient has a high risk of heart disease, family medicine doctors may coordinate care with specialists, such as cardiologists, to ensure that the patient receives the best possible treatment and follow-up care.
Adolescent medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on the healthcare of teenagers and young adults, typically between the ages of 10 and 25.
Adolescent medicine is an area for a family physician or family medicine physicians, also known as adolescent and young adult physicians or pediatric and adolescent medicine doctors. A family physician is usually trained to address the unique physical, emotional, health care and social needs of adolescents and young adults.
Family physicians work with patients to promote healthy habits and prevent illness, as well as diagnose and treat medical conditions that are specific to this age group, whilst working to build healthy habits in young patients that can empower them to lead healthier lives.
We diagnose, treat and manage all non-emergency conditions, including:
- Acute (sudden onset) illnesses such as fever, infections, colds/flu, migraines/headaches and back pain.
- Asthma in Children & Adults
- Advice on weight management (including body composition analysis for obesity)
- Cervical cancer screening for women
- Child health (paediatrics) advice
- Children's immunisations
- Chronic (long term) disease management, including diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease and high cholesterol
- Immunization and Screening Tests
- Musculoskeletal problems
- Nutritional advice
- Annual Physical and Health Risk Assessments for all age groups
- Routine vaccinations including influenza
- Sexual and reproductive health
- Skin disorders including eczema and acne
- Travel vaccinations (including legally required travel vaccinations)
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