Introduction to Family Medicine / General Practice

What is family medicine?

• It’s a discipline that is relationship-based and focused on person-centered care

• It’s the PERSON who has the disease that is important than the DISEASE the person has

• Cuts across the physical-psychological-social lines that separates the disciplines

• Defining the discipline in terms of relationships sets it apart from most other disciplines

• (McWinney 3 Ed. Ch. 2. Section – implications of the principles)

What is the main characteristic of Family Medicine?

The two institutions clearly endorse the above. • AAFP –

  • •  ‘In the increasingly fragmented world of health care, one thing remains constant: family physicians are dedicated to treating the whole person. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focusing on integrated care.’
  • •  RACGP – general-practice/

Primary care and Family Medicine

  • •  The AAFP recognizes the term “primary care” and that family physicians provide services commonly recognized as primary care.
  • •  However, the terms, “primary care” and “family medicine” are not interchangeable.
  • •  “Primary care” does not fully describe the activities of family physicians nor the practice of family medicine.
  • •  Similarly, primary care departments do not replace the form or function of family medicine departments.Primary Care – AAFP Policies

Primary care and Family Medicine

• ‘Although key components of primary care, family medicine and primary care are not identical concepts. Family physicians in different countries work with other primary care professionals in a variety of arrangements. Because of the international divergence in primary care structure, we wish to clarify that the target discipline of this paper is family medicine……’

Improving health care globally. Van Weel C. Rosser W. Ann Fam Med 2004;2(Suppl 2):S5-S16.

Providers of primary care

• The domain of primary care includes • Primary care physician

• Primary care practices provide patients with ready access to their own personal physician, or to an established backup physician when the primary physician is not available

• OPD doctors (Government and private hospitals)

• Other physicians who include some primary care services in their practices

• General Paediatrics
• General internal medicine • Geriatrics

• Non-physician providers ?
• Members in the primary care team?