A family doctor is a physician who takes care of the whole family. Family doctors create caring relationships with patients and their families. They get know their patients and help them make the best healthcare decisions.
Family doctors take care of the physical, mental and emotional health of both their patients and their patients' families. They know your family's health history and how it can affect you. They are trained to care for you through all the stages of your life.
Family doctors are trained in all areas of medicine. They can diagnose and treat the full range of problems people usually bring to their doctors. They know when to treat you, and, if necessary, when to bring in another specialist you can trust.
Family doctors know the most current treatments and technologies. They train for three years in real practice settings, treating patients in the office, the hospital and at home. And they recertify more than any other medical specialty. Family doctors also continue to educate themselves. This allows them to apply the latest medical breakthroughs to the everyday care of their patients.
Source: MedlinePlus and the American Academy of Family Physicians
Note: This definition was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- A wealth of health information for the whole family from the American Academy of Family Physicians. Includes a "Prevention and Wellness" section as well as information in Spanish.
- American Board of Family Medicine
- This is the professional website for family medicine recertification and includes a consumer lookup tool to check board certification of local family physicians.