General Question

justwannaknow's avatar

What is the differance between a doctor with a "family" practice and a doctor with a "general" practice.

Asked by justwannaknow (1369points) May 20th, 2009

Updateing my insurance and must choose a new DR. but saw these listings for them and decided to ask the “experts”.

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6 Answers

asmonet's avatar

Family practices cover pediatrics as well.
Right? That’s how it’s been at all the ‘Family’ practices I’ve been a patient at, not so with the others.

Darwin's avatar

General Practice – A physician whose practice is not oriented to a specific medical specialty but instead covers a variety of medical problems in patients of all ages. Also called family doctor.

Family Practice – The medical specialty which provides continuing and comprehensive health care for the individual and family. It is the specialty in breadth which integrates the biological, clinical, and behavioral sciences. The scope of family practice encompasses all ages, both sexes, each organ system, and every disease entity.

In other words, a doctor who completes his internship and then opens up an office to treat anything and anybody is a general practitioner. A doctor who stays in training long enough to be deemed a specialist, and then who opens up an office to treat anything and anybody is a family practitioner.

As the American Academy of Family Physicians says:

“Originally, most physicians in the U.S. (and elsewhere) were family doctors. Then there was a strong move away from family medicine toward the medical specialties in the U.S. The pendulum now has swung back to a more equitable balance between family practice and the medical (and surgical) specialties.”

Thus, if you do it the old fashioned way you are a general physician, but if you are modern and up to date you are a family practitioner. And yes, family practice does include pediatrics. However, I have found that my kids get better care from a dedicated pediatrician, in part because each suffers from an uncommon problem.

asmonet's avatar

Darwin to the rescue! :)
I was sorta wrong. :)

justwannaknow's avatar

Thank you Darwin, I am impressed. Now I can make an informed decision.

cak's avatar

Darwin always does a great job answering questions. :)

Darwin's avatar

I’m blushing

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