About one in every four doctor visits are to a family doctor. In the United States, that is about 214 million office visits. Family medicine specialists offer a comprehensive range of services to their patients. Unlike other medical specialists, they do not focus on just one disease. Family physicians do not just treat diseases. They take care of their patients through various stages of their lives. Despite the name, Westminster family medicine is available for everyone even when they are single with no children. Their roles include the following:
Managing Common Complaints
Family doctors can manage most of the common health complaints. They can treat all sorts of illnesses as they have no specialization. Whether it is an older adult struggling with a bladder infection or a child with a flu virus, your family doctor is the first person you should call. They can give you the appropriate prescription. You may contact them with concerns about your child’s growth rate, insomnia, immunization needs, and other common issues.
Family doctors can provide you with preventive care. They can advise you on how to maintain your family health and prevent common illnesses. They can suggest preventive care for both mental and physical illnesses. Family doctors can help you with:
- Fertility testing and counseling
- Weight management
- Nutrition needs
- Anger management training and stress relief
Managing Chronic Illness
If you have a chronic illness such as asthma, cancer, or diabetes, you need help managing it and your family doctor may be the right person to call. They can provide you with ongoing personalized care to get through the tough times. They perform regular diagnostic tests to keep track of your progress and determine the next step to take.
Diagnosing Emerging Conditions
Your family doctor does not only offer treatment but also diagnoses emerging problems. Most family doctors will work with you and your family for many years. They know your family history and what is not normal for you. They may be the first one to detect an illness. Usually, family doctors are the first ones to screen you for the first signs of serious illnesses such as cancer.
Being the Head of Your Healthcare Team
Your family doctor is the foundation of your healthcare team. They supervise medical assistants and nurses. They help you coordinate with social workers, mental health specialists, and rehabilitation therapists where necessary. If you have been dealing with an illness and it gets serious, they may refer you to a specialist. They spare you the inconvenience of having to take care of everything by yourself.
When you are ready to work with a family doctor, find one that is passionate and experienced in their job. They should be able to support you or your family through different cycles of your life. They should demonstrate their ability to take care of your health. The right one can manage common illnesses and complaints, uncover hidden conditions, recognize the symptoms of an illness, and manage chronic conditions.