Family medicine is concerned with the total health care of the individual and the family, and is trained to diagnose and treat a wide variety of ailments in patients of all ages. Family medicine physicians receive a broad range of training that includes internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and geriatrics. Although the scope and practice of family medicine is broad, it is a precise discipline, integrating a unique blend of biomedical, behavioral, and social sciences.
Family physicians possess unique attitudes, skills, and knowledge that qualify them to provide continuing and comprehensive medical care, health maintenance, and preventive services. These specialists are best qualified to serve as each patient's advocate in all health-related matters. Special emphasis is placed on prevention and the primary care of entire families, utilizing consultations and community resources when appropriate. Family physicians employ a diverse range of cognitive and procedural skills and coordinate care with other specialists when necessary.