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General Practice vs. Family Practice

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Authored by Michelle Fairbrother in Health Care
Published on 09-29-2009

There are a few different types of doctors that are available these days. General practice and family practice doctors are what most people are accustomed to hearing about. There are a lot of people who are not keen on the differences between the two. It is important to know what similarities and differences there are between general practice and family practice doctors.

A general practice doctor or GP is a doctor who is there to provide primary care for patients. General practice doctors are what the majority of people are used to. For doctors to become a general practice doctor they need to complete a three-year residency program. This is after 4 years of undergraduate college and another 4 years of medical school. When they are going through this residency or internship they go through a great deal of training. General practice doctors will gain knowledge on everything from pediatrics to internal medicine between the schooling and internship period.

General practice doctors are found all over the world. While they often specialize in family care, they will more often than not work for larger medical corporations. Many general practitioners are found in hospitals and other health care facilities. General practice physicians often have an array of different clients who they must review and treat. This can make it more difficult on the doctor, as they are not aware of the patient’s past health conditions.

A family practice doctor is one who would still provide the same type of care, only they place a great deal more emphasis on the family unit. A family practice physician will typically stick to smaller, private practices. Rather than working in a hospital unit or larger establishment, they will stick to more tight knit groups.

Family practice is truly a medical specialty of breadth. A family practice physician is there to provide medical care and also comfort to the patient. There are some solid reasons explaining why there is still such a large following for the family practice doctors. More than anything it is due to the fact that family practice offers ongoing, integrated care. Many people feel as though the family practice doctors treat on a more personal level.

A lot of people keep their beliefs in family practice doctors because they feel that they are more effective. This is true in many ways. Family practice doctors have more long-term relationships with their patients and usually take on their entire families. So a couple would take their children to their family doctor, and they would take their children, and so on.

This offers great advantages to the family. The physician is familiar with all of the patients and the children have grown up with the doctor so they know to trust in them. One of the main reasons that family physicians are so well liked is because they result in high patient satisfaction. Many people are happier when they are able to turn to their family doctor who they have relied on their entire life.

Every person is different and it is up to the individual as to whether they would prefer their medical care to be with a general practice or family practice doctor. Regardless of the determination, it is nice to have options.

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