As its name implies, family medicine is a type of medical specialty within primary care that provides continuing and comprehensive health care for family members of all ages, genders, diseases, and parts of the body. Your family doctor treats chronic conditions, evaluates your symptoms, offers preventative care, and tells you when you need to see a specialist.
Nevertheless, even with that simple definition, the role of a family medicine doctor can sometimes be misunderstood. In order to ensure that you and your loved ones receive the best medical care, let’s take a look – and debunk – some of the most common myths about family medicine.
Myth #1: You should only see a family medicine doctor when you are sick.
Reality: Although your family medicine physician is highly trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of acute and chronic illnesses, it’s important to see your primary care doctor even when you’re in good health. Why? Because having an annual physical examination is an effective way to prevent illnesses from occurring in the first place and treat symptoms that do arise as early as possible.
Myth #2: Family medicine doctors are only preliminary caregivers without much input between the course of an illness and its treatment.
Reality: Family medicine doctors provide coordinated care, which means they take the lead in maintaining your health care. They’re not just healers, but also your professional health care leader, customizing your care based on your individual health goals and needs. Your family medicine doctor not only provides you with care but also includes you in each decision-making process whether it involves your family doctor or other health care professionals to whom you are referred. They are involved in your treatment in some way from start to finish.
Myth #3: Seeing your family doctor will only cost you time and money, especially if you are already healthy.
Reality: The notion that visiting your family physician will involve long waits and unexpected bills is untrue. Provided you have medical insurance, most of your health care – including preventative services such as shots and screening tests — is provided efficiently and in a cost-effective method. In fact, many plans cover preventative services at no charge.
Myth #4: You’ll receive better care from a specialist than the general care offered by your family medicine doctor.
Reality: The role of a family medicine doctor goes beyond providing general care for common conditions and illnesses. Besides providing a full range of preventive medical services for family members of all ages, your primary care doctor is also equipped to provide a comprehensive range of services, including immunizations, screenings, health risk assessments, and family planning and counseling. What’s more, many family medicine doctors are specially trained in women’s health, pediatric care, dermatology, diabetic care, and more.
Myth #5: Family medicine doctors aren’t lifesavers.
Reality: It isn’t just emergency room doctors and nurses who handle potentially life and death situations. By providing preventive care, accurate diagnoses, early treatment, and timely referrals, family medicine doctors ultimately save countless lives. Their knowledge, expertise, and commitment to maintaining your family’s health are a vital key to your longevity and that of your loved ones. Your family medicine doctor is there to ensure that you receive the right care, in the right setting, by the right practitioner in the way that best suits your specific needs.
Family Medicine in Fort Worth, Texas
At Texas Medical Institute, our team of family medicine physicians provides a wide range of care for a variety of medical conditions to our patients. Among the many health services we offer are:
- Preventive care
- Treatment for common health problems
- Diagnosis of emerging conditions
- Management of chronic illness
- Coordination of your rehabilitation
To schedule an appointment with one of our family medicine specialists, contact Texas Medical Institute in Fort Worth, Texas, at (817) 615-8633 or use our convenient request an appointment form.