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What kind of doctor is a family doctor?

A family doctor is the first professional you come across when seeing medical care. They possess the educational qualification and skills to provide health care to patients of all ages. They also provide preventive and curative treatments along with guidance on different types of diseases, from simple ones such as cold and flu to more serious ones such as diabetes and asthma.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), family doctors are trained to treat the “whole person”. They provide services such as risk assessments, physical exams, screening tests, and immunizations.

Family doctors have the training to perform tests on you, establish the cause of your problem and prepare a treatment plan or refer you to a specialist if necessary. For this reason, you are advised to consult a family doctor before a specialist if your symptoms are not obvious. Family doctors are there to save you the hassle of having to go around specialists hoping to find the right one to treat you.

Due to the extensive training, they receive in several subspecialties of medicine, family doctors have the skills to provide treatment and guidance in specialty areas like obstetrics, cancer, and stroke. That means you don’t necessarily need to look for a specialist after you have been examined and diagnosed by a family doctor. Family doctors will personally refer you to a specialist if they deem it necessary. Minor cases in major medical areas such as pediatrics, surgery, neurology, psychiatry and internal medicine can all be handled by a family doctor.

Since family doctors provide medical care for all patients from birth through to old age, it is advisable to take your time to find when looking for a doctor to build an open and long-term relationship with. Call us today to schedule an appointment with our general practitioner or fill out and submit an appointment form on our website.

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