Health services in Minnesota that are geared to the entire family provide a multitude of benefits for you, your spouse and your children. A family practice doctor is trained to treat a person at every phase of his life. He gets to know the family as a whole, improving his ability to diagnose conditions in the context of the family system. Taking your family to a clinic staffed with family practitioners offers practical and health benefits for you and your family.
What is a Family Practice Doctor?
A family practice doctor is trained to care for the whole person. He has completed medical school and a multi-year residency that covers cardiology, chronic problems, obstetrics, emergency care, community health, mental health, internal medicine, and pediatrics.
Many follow this with a fellowship working with an experienced family care specialist. Under this type of supervision over the course of six months to two years, the new doctor learns how to meld theory and practice caring for families. All family practitioners must pass a licensing exam and most are seeking certification from the American Board of Family Medicine.
The biggest strength of a family doctor is that he sees a family over the course of many years, letting him get to know each member as an individual. This gives him an exceptional overview of family dynamics, the information he uses for diagnosing illnesses.
Getting To Know You
Since you and your children see one doctor or set of doctors at a family practice clinic over the years, you can build a relationship. This can be especially important for children and teens who often have trouble articulating problems to a stranger. The doctor likewise develops a relationship with the family. He understands the emotional ups and downs caused by chronic illness or financial problems.
Because he can see the big picture, your family doctor can connect the dots. If one of the parents has Attention Deficit Disorder, he can look for signs among the children. Spotting it early can make school much easier for the child and the family. If a normally outgoing teen becomes withdrawn and his grades are affected, he can connect this new information with an adult member’s history of substance abuse. He can quickly determine that drugs are the culprit.
Just One Office
Instead of driving all over town to get you and your family to the right doctor’s office, you can go to just the single clinic for treatment. Occasionally your family doctor might recommend a specialist for certain problems, but as a rule, you go to the one office for all medical visits. This makes it much easier to schedule appointments. You also don’t have to juggle a quantity of contact information. One phone number and one email address are all that is necessary to get in touch with his office.
Your children will always know who to contact in case of an emergency and when filling in the information required for school forms. Your family doctor is the center point for all of your medical care. This makes it convenient and much simpler to track vaccinations and appointments.
The Middleman for Other Medical Care
If a member of the family needs the care of a specialist, your family doctor will act as the middleman between you and the new doctor. He can recommend one with a solid reputation for the care you or your children need, whether for anxiety and depression, asthma or cancer. He can explain to the specialist the medical history of you or your child and put the illness in the context of the family dynamics. Without him, the specialist would not have this valuable information.
Likewise, he can explain to you what the ramifications are of certain treatment choices. He is your advocate with the clinic or hospital where the treatment is done.