A family physician is a general practitioner (GP) who can help everyone in your entire family improve their health by preventing, diagnosing, and treating illnesses, and by connecting you with medical specialists if needed.
Family physicians possess distinct abilities and expertise that qualify them to provide medical treatment to each member of your family. Contrast this with pediatricians, who only practice children’s medicine, and with internists, who only practice adult medicine. Indeed, they are trained medical doctors who are equipped to serve as primary care physicians for all ages.
However, common myths surrounding family medicine have led to misunderstandings of these doctors’ vital roles. Let’s talk about five of the biggest myths about family physicians, and where you can go in Fort Worth for a family doctor who can see you today.
Common Myths About Family Doctors
Myth #1: Family Physicians Only Provide Referrals and Do Not Treat Medical Conditions
As much as they can, your family doctor will treat you and avoid referring you to a specialist. Unless your condition is severe and they believe it is in your best interest to see a specialist, your family physician will work closely with you until you are back on your feet.
Family physicians typically only refer out 10% of the time, when they recognize that the patient may require in-depth assistance in treating a particular illness.
Myth #2: If I Get Sick, I Should Go to Urgent Care Instead of a Family Physician
Urgent care is a great option if you need quick medical assistance after normal business hours, or when your family physician is unavailable. However, the medical staff at an urgent care clinic will not be familiar with the finer details of your medical history, and this makes it difficult for them to deliver fully individualized care to you.
Myth #3: Family Medical Doctors Don’t Save Lives
Family physicians can indeed save lives through early diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening illnesses and conditions. They may not be as flashy as a specialist, but family doctors save the most lives through prevention.
Myth #4: You Should Only See Your Physician for Annual Checkups
Family doctors universally recommend that their patients come in for annual physical examinations, regardless of whether they are sick or healthy. These periodic checkups can help you avoid and spot potential illnesses early on. Blood and urine tests, as well as checks of things such as blood pressure and oxygen levels, are performed during these visits to aid in the early detection of health problems.
Other than your annual or semiannual checkups, you should feel empowered to see your family doctor for any nonemergency medical matter. This physician knows your “baseline” health, so they are in the best position to assess and treat you for any health issues that arise.
Myth #5: Seeing a Family Physician for Sudden Medical Issues Is Pointless
Keeping a good relationship with your family physician helps them help you in many areas of your healthcare. If you are experiencing strange symptoms, they will want to ideally be the first one to see you, and to give you a referral if necessary.
Family Physicians in Fort Worth, Texas
Family physicians provide a great percentage of patients’ medical care. They are your health partners at every stage of life and for each of your family members. Making regular visits to your family physician can save you a great deal of time and money while improving your health.
Texas Medical Institute’s family physicians are here to care for you and your entire family for a lifetime of health and wellness. Please contact us at (817) 615-8633 if you have questions or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to being your family healthcare partner!