Reasons Why You Should Have a Family Doctor

A family doctor can treat all members of a family from early childhood through adulthood. They can continue to see the same patient for decades, even as the family members’ needs change. This type of relationship gives a family doctor a unique insight into the family medical history. Knowing this will help them to diagnose a problem more effectively, identify health solutions, and advise preventive measures. Listed below are seven reasons why you should have a family doctor.

Benefits of having a Family Doctor

Benefits of having a Family Doctor

Family doctors have a unique understanding of the health history of patients, which means they can diagnose illnesses better than other healthcare providers. They can also refer patients to specialists and provide referrals, which is advantageous for both patients and healthcare systems. They also have a detailed understanding of a patient’s health history, and can help patients navigate acute and chronic medical conditions. This knowledge makes family doctors the best choice for chronic or acute conditions, you can find out more.

Cost savings

A family doctor should be your primary care physician. A family doctor can perform minor procedures such as draining abscesses or freezing warts. He can also refer you to specialists or help you find one. Having a family doctor is also cost-effective for the health system. In a recent study in Rhode Island, doctors who saw more patients in the primary care setting saved the system an estimated 18 percent of total healthcare spending.

Treatment of chronic conditions

Your family doctor can treat chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. These illnesses require lifelong management that combines lifestyle changes and routine medical care. A family physician is typically the first line of defense for such a patient and can diagnose the illness by considering your past medical history. Often, a family physician is a primary care provider, and is more likely to diagnose you with chronic illness than a specialist.

Prevention of medical emergencies

Prevention of medical emergencies with a family physician is critical for patients, families, and their doctors. A recent report by the American Academy of Family Physicians cites five of the most common medical emergencies that a family physician will face. These include asthma attacks, cardiac arrest, anaphylaxis, and hypoglycemia. According to the report, a family doctor will treat on average eight emergencies a year, and nearly 95% of rural physicians experience at least one in a year. And in a recent study of family physician offices across the country, 62% of all patients in these offices will require immediate care at some point during the week.

Comprehensive care for everyone in the family

Unlike other types of medical professionals, family physicians have undergone years of training. These physicians complete a four-year medical school program and then complete a three to four-year residency in family medicine. During the residency, family doctors complete rotations in a variety of disciplines. Residents are required to provide care to a continuity panel of patients and maintain an “outpatient model practice” throughout their training. Family physicians practice the art of preventive medicine, addressing problems in the whole family.

Bill Sutton
Reasons Why You Should Have a Family Doctor