While it is often necessary to visit a specialist for specific medical conditions, your primary care physician will be the doctor on whom you depend for your overall health needs. For this reason, a physician who practices family medicine may be your best choice when choosing a physician for yourself and your family.
Why Choose a Family Medicine Practitioner as Your Primary Care Physician?
When you are younger, single, and/or childless, you may not care about establishing a long-term relationship with a physician. However, there are many benefits to family medicine for couples or families with children.
Every family member can see the same doctor for primary care, which is helpful for busy families, especially if multiple family members are stricken with illness at the same time. The physician can also see more than one family member during the same appointment time, eliminating the need for multiple appointments for the same illness.
When a physician treats an entire family, especially over a period of several years, a deeper relationship is formed between the doctor and the family. Family members can provide valuable information about symptoms of illnesses or about the medical history of other family members if needed. The physician will also become familiar with the lifestyle choices of the family and suggest healthier alternatives that can be reinforced within the family.
A family medicine practitioner will be able to observe a family's medical history over time and and monitor younger family members for symptoms of diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes if their parents are under treatment for these illnesses.
Monitoring of Prescription Drugs
One of the primary causes of the current opioid epidemic is the use of prescription painkillers by younger family members. Older family members may have chronic pain and open access to opioid painkillers, but only take them occasionally. They may be hesitant to tell their doctor that they don't always use them out of fear of having the prescription cancelled, or they may simply forget whether they've taken all of the medication prescribed.
A family physician can make all family members aware of the importance of safely storing these potentially dangerous narcotics, as well as observe teenage and young-adult family members for any symptoms of opioid abuse.
Family medicine practitioners will share in the births and deaths, the inoculations and the sniffles, and many of the other ups and downs of their patient families over time. It takes a special breed of doctor to forgo the temptation of specialization, but the relationships forged through family practice are warm reminders of why they chose to enter the field of medicine. To learn more, talk to companies like the Advance Medical of Naples, LLC.