The Importance of Family Medicine

Family medicine is a complex medical specialty that provides continuous and comprehensive health care for individuals and their families. Family medicine involves care for patients of all ages, sexes, organ systems, and diseases. Board-certified family medicine practitioner, Dr. Leela Patel in South Charleston, offers the best primary care for you and your family at Patel & Patel, MD.


Principles of Family Medicine

Family medicine is based on principles that reflect its philosophy. It is a practice that is centered on the family and continuity of the doctor-patient relationship. The five fundamental principles of family medicine include:

1.  A family physician should be highly skilled.

Family medicine encompasses patients with varying backgrounds, ages, sexes, and conditions, and therefore requires broad and solid knowledge in the diagnosis and management of clinical problems. Family doctors should be equipped with critical skills like:

  • Diagnosis
  • Drug prescribing
  • Counseling
  • In-office procedures
  • Palliative care

2. Family medicine should ensure a centralized doctor-patient relationship.

A family doctor should always put the patient’s plan first by listening to their ideas, concerns, and expectations. This principle is one of the essential benefits of having a family care provider. Family medicine involves compassionate care. Through patient-centered communication and empathy, family medicine provides a comfortable environment for treatment. Family doctors are also in a better position to provide home-visits, depending on the level of your relationship & medical need. A strong doctor-patient relationship enhances accountability. Your family doctor will remind you to go for checkups, take medication, and ensure that you stick to your health plan.

3. Family medicine is a community-based discipline.

Family practitioners should always be available in case of any family health issue. This principle enables family practitioners to record your family’s medical history, enabling the provision of individualized care. Having a medical history makes diagnostic tests thorough. It is essential to choose a family doctor within your community, making it easier for them to provide emergency care. Your family doctor should know where you live and should be able to access the area quickly.

4. Family doctors act as community resources.

Family medicine should provide additional resources like health education and health promotion in the community. They should ensure that you understand all treatment options for specific diseases. Furthermore, family doctors equip you and your family with the necessary medical measures to help prevent diseases. In case of emergencies, your family doctor should be the first person you call. They are best equipped to walk you through first-aid techniques because they understand your medical history.

5. The family physician acts as a care co-coordinator.

Family medicine sometimes involves referring patients to appropriate secondary consultants. However, the family physician remains the primary care provider. They will be there to guide secondary physicians by letting them know your medical history or allergies. Although they will not be responsible for performing the actual treatments, they may assist in choosing the best treatment plan for you. Moreover, your family doctor will offer support by regularly checking up on you during recovery.

There are endless benefits of having your family doctor as your primary care provider. Visit Patel & Patel, MD, and start building your doctor-patient relationship to keep your health in prime position.