Family physicians are concerned with the total health care of patients. Family physicians may provide care for patients in both office and hospital settings and are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of numerous diseases and conditions, and manage both common and complex problems. They are also trained to prevent, diagnose, and treat a wide variety of ailments affecting patients of all ages.
Family Practice is a medical specialty of breadth, which builds upon a core of knowledge shared with other medical disciplines. It combines traditional biological and clinical sciences with knowledge in areas such family psychodynamics, interpersonal relationships, supportive counseling, and the impact of illness on individuals and families. This gives the Family Physician unique skills in patient management, problem solving, and the coordination of health care delivery.
Family Physicians are trained to provide comprehensive medical care with particular emphasis on treating the entire family, regardless of the patient’s age, sex, or type of illness. Training includes internal medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, surgery, dermatology, and emergency medicine.
As a medical specialty, the American Board of Family Practice has pioneered the concept of recertification to ensure Family Physicians maintain current knowledge and skill. This process requires each Board Certified Family Physician to participate in accredited continuing medical education and periodic comprehensive written exams to maintain certification.
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