The health care system is constantly changing. Models come and go as practitioners and government agencies decide what will work best for today’s patients. Yet, one system consistently remains. This is the family practice. While in the past, trends have been towards specialization, this older model of medical care continues to remain.
What Is a Family or General Practice?
Family or general practitioners are a lynch pin in today’s overall health care system. They act as the central link between their patients and specialists in the medical system. This is not all they do. The actions a family doctor takes are integral in ensuring the health of their patients remains a high priority. These generalists are:
- The keepers of the medical records of their patients – in some cases from their birth onwards
- Confidantes of medical records and information of each patient that visits them
- Centers for the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients of all ages, genders, sexual orientation and life stages, if not economic status
- Main provider of health care
- Aware of their patients like no specialist can ever be
- Sometimes a steady part of their life
- The initial discoverer of any abnormality requiring further or specialized expertise
- Community-based – usually serving within the community
- Where patients can take their complaints and expect them to be heard and heeded
Overall, a good family practitioner is a provider of all basic medical services and acts as a gateway to specialized medical practitioners.
Running the Family Practice
Any medical professional who decides to open a family practice is taking on a heavy workload. It may require having a partner or even working within a medically diverse clinic – a more modern approach to this type of medical delivery, to help offset any issues. Computerization, a receptionist and nurse practitioners will help to ensure the medical art of the family practice continues to stay viable into the future.