2 Scenarios When You Need a Family Medicine Doctor

Let’s start with the fact that I believe family medicine Doctor to be the most rewarding field in medicine. That is a specialized area, indeed. Traditional “GPS” (general practitioners) are becoming obsolete. In modern parlance, “general practitioner” (GP) suggests that the physician is NOT board qualified. After medical school, a family physician must complete a three-year residency programmer and pass a battery of exams before they can become board-certified; they must then continue to take the exams periodically throughout their careers. You should either find out why your doctor isn’t board certified or find someone who is, or stop seeing that doctor immediately.

Scenario 1:

You’ve caught the flu and feel really terrible. If you need to see a doctor, please do not call me. You pick the earliest available appointment, which is in two days. Over the course of the next two days, you will force yourself out of bed, get in your car, and wait in the clinic’s reception area for an hour before being seen by a doctor. You have influenza A, but you should have come in sooner so I could have started you on antivirals because you’ve been sick for 3 days. As a mother, my first concern is always for my children. Where does my child stand? My son Joey has asthma; what about him? Concerned that your children may become ill, you immediately dial the number of their pediatrician upon returning home. They need to see you, too, raising your kids… You get in the car (still feeling lousy from the flu) and drive the kids to the doctor so they can start prophylactic antiviral treatment. Certainly, but what about your husband as well? AHHHH!

Time to call the family doctor. She is familiar with you, your husband, and your children and is aware that Joey is at increased risk for developing asthma. It’s possible to get an appointment the same day, start Joey on antivirals right away, and have our family doctor prescribe preventative antivirals for the whole family. This is a common practice in general practice.

Scenario 2:

You believe you don’t need a primary care physician because you’re in good health. Great! You still need a Carilion family medicine, and we must discuss the screening labs, skin checks, Paps, and mammograms that nobody enjoys but can save your life. I can take care of that and schedule your mammogram or colonoscopy all in the same visit. And since you’re here, I’d want to hear about your medical family history, including your grandfather’s heart disease and death, your mother’s breast cancer diagnosis, and your sister’s use of thyroid medication. Let’s speak about YOUR risks and the things you can do to lower them (and the dangers your kids face, if they live at home with you). I’d like to have a conversation about health and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I’m also interested in hearing your thoughts on the following topics:

You miss out on all of this if you only go in for your annual “check-up” with a doctor who doesn’t know you or your family, or if you don’t visit a doctor at all.

Complete Family Wellness