Family medicine is the most versatile of all medical specialties, providing comprehensive care to patients of both sexes.
Family physicians deliver care in a variety of settings, including:
- Office practices
- Nursing homes
- Community health centers
- Urgent care centers
- Emergency rooms
- University-based health centers
Family physicians receive diverse training and have the flexibility to tailor their clinical services to the unique needs of their patients. Most Family Physicians are trained to provide prenatal care, deliver babies, take care of the babies starting at birth and follow them through their adolescence into adulthood, provide dermatologic care (acne, rashes, mole checks and removals if necessary), women’s health (PAP smears, breast exams and mammogram referrals), men’s health (prostate exams), musculoskeletal care (sprains, fractures, chronic and acute back pain), geriatric care, behavioral health (depression, anxiety and others), and of course take care of patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, and any other preventive care issues. Additionally, Family Physicians are trained in a variety of other procedures including circumcisions, vasectomies, colposcopies, knee and shoulder injections, and many others.
In addition to office-based procedural training, family physicians receive training in hospital-based medicine, including critical care. Family physicians have the flexibility to incorporate procedures into their patient care as their skills and interests evolve and demand for various services develops in their community. Like many specialists, some Family Physicians may specialize in certain areas within their field, so you should always ask your Family Physician which services he/she offers and make sure that services and interests match your needs.
*For more information provided by the American Academy of Family Physicians, visit www.aafp.org