Family medicine is a specialty of medicine dealing with the general diagnosis and treatment of people of all ages, which is where is draws its name from. Family medicine deals with comprehensive health and it is one of the divisions of primary care for any type of person or disease. This field is important because it treats the patient based on his/her medical history, taking into account previous illnesses, allergies, afflictions, and so on, which is why the term comprehensive health is used.
The main purpose of family medicine is health awareness, disease prevention and education and the promotion of health and a healthy lifestyle not only for the individual or his family, but for the whole community as well. The physician or doctor working within family medicine is called a family doctor or family physician; he or she is usually endowed with a large group of regular patients in a certain area, neighborhood or community and deals with all of their medical history. Having a family practitioner is very important because at the very first sign of health trouble or disease a visit here is required. Having all your medical history and even personal knowledge of yourself and your life, the family physician will consult and diagnose you and, where needed, send you to a specialist depending on your affliction.
Family medicine is also important in establishing the general health of a community, all of which can be done based on the records the physicians keep of all their patients. The way to become a practitioner of family medicine differs from country to country, or from continent to continent, but its main purposes are the same. Some countries may require more studies, longer periods of residency or even tutoring and others even ask for periodical reevaluations of their family physicians.
Family medicine is essential not only because of the diagnosis and treatment of certain diseases or for recommending medical specialists, but also because it is within it that routine check-ups are effectuated. Nevertheless, doctors can sometimes be wrong as well, and fail to promote de correct diagnosis, or offer a delayed one; this kind of clinical negligence occurs rarely, but it can have serious effects on the patient’s physical and mental health. If you suffer from clinical negligence, then you need to hire a solicitor and claim compensation, otherwise nobody will make things right for you. The family physician will deal with his patients’ immunization, general and specific testing, health-risk assessments and providing health education and preventing care for the community. In certain parts of the world, it is the family practitioner who delivers babies and other prenatal and postnatal care. A family physician can have his/her own office, a shared office with other practitioners or work within a hospital, offering general, sometimes even free consultation based on the patient’s health insurance.