While the days of house calls in horse-drawn carriages and baby deliveries by lamplight are gone, modern family doctors still offer some of the same traditional healthcare benefits, specifically, their ability to provide healthcare for the entire family – from children to seniors. It is not at all uncommon for a family physician to treat several generations of the same family, although they can also serve as a primary care physician for an individual. Whether you are single, a new couple or have a large family, a family doctor is there to safeguard the long-term health of you and your family as well as support your medical needs if any health issues arise. Although patients are not required to have a family medicine specialist who they regularly see, a family doctor can provide convenience and simply make it easier to stay healthy.
Here is a look at some specific benefits of seeing a family doctor:
1. Convenient Initial Point of Care
If you’re shopping for groceries, it can be inconvenient and time-consuming to visit half a dozen separate specialty stores, traveling to a produce market, butcher’s shop, bakery, etc. Why not just visit a supermarket instead? This same concept holds true for family medicine. A family doctor is your one-stop shop for general medical problems and health maintenance, typically including:
GENERAL AND PREVENTIVE CARE
CARE OF URGENT CONDITIONS
Urinary tract infections
CARE OF CHRONIC CONDITIONS
High blood pressure
2. Familiarity with Your Medical History
Your family doctor is likely to be the healthcare provider most familiar with your medical history. Most patients see their family medicine specialist more than any other doctor, and these family doctors know the ins and outs of their patients’ medical, family and lifestyle backgrounds.
Of course, there may be times when you need another specialist. Your family doctor is there to take the lead on coordinating your care with the specialist and will work within their network to make a referral. In turn, the specialist will report their findings and treatment plans back to your family doctor so that they can follow up on your care. You should also note that some health insurance plans require that you see your primary care physician for an assessment before visiting a specialist.
3. Medical Support During All Stages of Life
People face unique medical challenges and need specialized care depending on their phase of life. A family medicine doctor will have training in the care of children, know how to treat adolescents, be skilled in medicine for adults, and also be comfortable with medical treatment of the elderly. In some cases, a family doctor will also provide home visits for the acutely sick or those elderly family members residing in assisted living facilities. No matter your age or the age of your family members, your family medicine physician can provide excellent care.
4. Well Woman Care
Many female patients see an OB-GYN for their well woman care. However, did you know that your family medicine doctor can also help with gynecological exams? Many family doctors provide Pap smears and breast examinations and can assist you in scheduling mammograms. By engaging your family doctor in your well woman care, they are able to provide care for the whole woman, not just the gynecological aspect of healthcare.
Finding a Family Doctor in Connecticut
Probably the best aspect of having a family doctor is the part that has not changed throughout the years, and that is their ability to develop long-lasting, personal relationships with their patients. By combining this old school approach to patient care with modern medical practices, patients can benefit from a wholistic model for medical care, from adolescence through to end of life.
For a complete list of PACT board-certified family medicine specialists in Connecticut, please click here.