A family medicine clinic has family medicine physicians who provide primary care services to patients of all ages with all types of health conditions.
Family medicine physicians are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of acute medical conditions, preventive medicine, chronic disease management, and physical medicine. While all members of your family are welcome at a family medicine clinic, some family medicine clinics devote most of their time to treating adults with multiple and complex medical conditions, while others focus more on children.
If you are considering seeing a family medicine physician, let’s talk about what you can expect at your first visit.
Contact Information Collection
You will need to provide personal information during your visit so that the doctor and staff can establish forms of communication with you. Usually, your first visit will start out by filling out a series of forms asking for a variety of information. This will include forms asking about your medical history, insurance coverage, and your home address and emergency contact information. All of this information will make up your patient file and will be accessed and updated during every visit.
Medical History Collection
In order to provide you with the best possible care, your family doctor will need to learn about your medical history. This includes current medications, allergies or sensitivities, lifestyle, and habits, such as whether you smoke or drink alcohol, and more. They will also want to know about all diseases and conditions you have been diagnosed with, as well as any procedures or surgeries you’ve had in the past. They may also want to know about your family medical history, as many diseases have genetic risks, and your doctor can provide better long-term care knowing which conditions they should be on the lookout for.
If you are visiting a family medicine doctor for the first time due to symptoms or an illness, they will ask you about your symptoms and the treatments you’ve tried. Talk about your symptoms in detail, such as when they worsen or improve, and what self-care or over-the-counter treatments you have tried to find relief.
Family medicine doctors routinely perform annual and physical exams. To establish a baseline for your health and to comprehensively assess your health during your first visit, your doctor may recommend an annual exam. This will include checking your weight, height, body temperature, heartbeat, breathing, reflexes, and much more. All of this information will be recorded and updated on an annual basis. Annual checkups are a great way to catch health problems early on before symptoms manifest.
Ordering of Diagnostic Tests
Depending on the reason for your visit and your symptoms, your doctor may recommend diagnostic testing to help make a diagnosis. Your doctor may order medical imaging tests such as an X-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG), computerized tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate issues further. In a lot of cases, this step isn’t necessary. It all depends on the symptoms you are experiencing and whether your doctor feels a further investigation is necessary.
Preventive Care Measures
During your first appointment with a family medicine doctor, you will likely discuss your lifestyle and risk for certain diseases. For instance, if you are overweight, your doctor will recommend ways to lose weight. If you are experiencing joint pain, your doctor may recommend physical therapy exercises. If you are over the age of 60, your doctor may recommend certain screenings, like colonoscopy, to check your colon health. Preventive health measures are a big part of primary care, and family medicine doctors use them as a tool to encourage healthy living. You can definitely expect to have a conversation on this topic during your first visit.
Family Physicians in Fort Worth, TX
The family physicians at Texas Medical Institute are currently accepting new patients. We can provide for the needs of your entire family and coordinate your care with other doctors. We are also proud of our occupational health and physical rehabilitation programs, and we treat even the most complex orthopedic conditions that cause chronic pain. To schedule an appointment with one of our family physicians, call our office today at (817) 615-8633 or use our convenient online request form.