Tues., Feb. 10, 2015 at
|Mastin Bld. 2nd floor ~ Room #207|
The Specialty of Family Medicine
The specialty of Family Medicine has undergone tremendous changes in the last five years and continues to change to meet the needs of the communities in which family physicians practice. The specialty of Family Medicine is centered on lasting, caring relationships with patients and their families. Family physicians integrate the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences to provide continuing and comprehensive health care. The scope of Family Medicine encompasses all ages, sexes, each organ system and every disease entity.
Scope of Family Medicine
Of the primary care specialties (Family Medicine, General Internal Medicine, Pediatrics) family physicians provide the most care - managing nearly one-fourth of all primary care visits. Given the scope of Family Medicine, this comes as no surprise. Family Medicine is a three-dimensional specialty, incorporating (1) knowledge, (2) skill and (3) process. At the center of the process element is the patient-physician relationship with the patient viewed in the context of the family. It is the extent to which this relationship is valued, developed, nurtured and maintained that distinguishes Family Medicine from all other specialties. Family physicians integrate the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences to provide continuing and comprehensive health care. Unlike pediatricians who only provide care for children, and internists who only provide care for adults, Family Medicine encompasses all ages, sexes, each organ system and every disease entity. Family physicians also pay special attention to their patients’ lives within the context of family and the community. While there are similarities between Family Medicine and the other primary care specialties, family physicians have an unprecedented opportunity to have an impact on the health of an individual patient over that person’s entire lifetime.
Demand for Family Physicians
The case for maintaining an adequate family physician workforce is strong. Studies reveal that:
•Family Medicine reduces health care costs and increases health care quality.
•Family physicians are geographically distributed across the country more equitably than physicians from any other specialty.
•Family physicians are geographically and financially more accessible to disadvantaged populations that lack access to quality health care than other primary care physicians, which, in turn, helps to reduce health disparities.
•Individuals who regularly visit a family physician are more likely to receive preventive services, better management of chronic illnesses and decreased chance of premature death.
Recruitment data indicates that family physicians are in demand. According to Merritt, Hawkins & Associates, Family Medicine is averaging as the highest recruited specialty for the past five years.
Go to the virtual FMIG at http://fmignet.aafp.org/online/fmig/index.html for more details on the specialty.