Family Medicine Doctors
Qualifications & Certifications
A family doctor is trained to care for the whole person regardless of age or gender. In addition to treating illnesses, a family doctor provides routine health screenings and counseling on lifestyle changes to help prevent conditions before they happen.
If a health condition requires care from another specialist, a family doctor will also be there to guide and coordinate all aspects of care. The cornerstone of family medicine is an ongoing, personal patient-doctor relationship focused on integrated care.
Education and Training
Following medical school, family medicine doctors complete a formal three-year residency during which they receive training in several major medical areas and patient populations. These areas include:
- Care for all ages from infants to older adults
- Care for chronic conditions, such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease
- Ear, nose and throat care
- Emergency medical care
- Minor surgical procedures
- Mental and behavioral health care
- Bone and joint care
- Eye care
- Care of the urinary system
- Prenatal care
- Well-woman care
- Reproductive counseling, family planning
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The American Board of Family Medicine requires its board-certified doctors to take an exam every seven to 10 years to remain board certified. Family medicine doctors also are required to complete a minimum of 150 hours of continuing medical education every three years. In addition, family doctors have the support of a national medical association, the American Academy of Family doctors (AAFP). The AAFP provides high-quality learning opportunities for family medicine doctors, as well as patient education materials and practice management support.
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The Patient-Doctor Relationship
Family medicine doctors believe that the key to long-term health is a strong patient-doctor relationship. To develop a personal treatment plan, a family medicine doctor will regularly ask questions about your family health history and your lifestyle to determine your individual health risk factors.
Research shows that people who have an ongoing relationship with a primary care doctor have better overall health outcomes, lower death rates and lower total costs of care.
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All Family Medicine Providers
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