With so many advanced types of doctors and medical specializations, it’s no wonder people get them confused so often. You probably know what kind of doctor you need for heart disease or joint pain, but what about those times when you don’t have an idea what’s causing your symptoms? Do you go to your family practice or general practice? What exactly is the difference between these two practices?
Let’s explore the difference between family practice and general practice, the types of services they provide, and the patients they attend to.
Family Practice vs. General Practice
Family practice is a clinic of doctors that offer primary medical care. To get family practitioner services, you register with a family practice. Your family doctor gets to know your entire medical history, as well as your family’s, and becomes your partner in maintaining overall health and wellness. Family medicine doctors provide care to all patients irrespective of their age.
General practice is similar to urgent care or a general health clinic. General practitioners offer general medical services to patients of all ages but do not typically specialize in a particular area. Besides treating your medical condition, your GP also identifies the areas that need continued care from a specialist.
Specialization and services from family practice vs. general practice
In medicine, family practice is a specialty field. Your family medicine doctor receives specialized training in diagnosing and treating the entire range of medical conditions that affect all family members. Since family medicine doctors focus on the whole family’s needs, they often receive training in pediatrics, geriatrics, obstetrics, and gynecology. They offer a wide range of urgent care, sick, and preventive care services, including:
- Asthma and allergies
- Chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, bronchitis, and diabetes (type 1 and type 2)
- Physicals for school, sports, camp, employment, and insurance
- Coughs, colds, and flu treatment
- DOT physicals
- Strep throat
- Weight management
- Health-risk assessments
- Family planning
- Whiplash and other auto-accident/workers’ comp trauma
- Women’s health, including gynecologic exams and preventive care
A general practitioner is a doctor who works in clinical settings such as urgent care centers, hospitals, and clinics. They diagnose and treat a wide range of medical issues. General practitioners do not specialize in any particular area. Your general practitioner will keep your clinical record, which helps him refer you to a specialist. Your general practitioner can also perform minor suturing and wound treatment.
General practice clinics have labs and diagnostic machines to perform medical testing to further diagnose certain conditions. Their main goal is to treat you and keep you out of the hospital.
Types of patients
A family practice offers care for your entire family unit: male and female adults and children of all ages. Family doctors offer care to patients of all ages throughout their lives. They offer care to multiple generations at the same time.
A general practitioner also sees patients of all ages but for milder diseases, such as the common cold, affecting the entire body. Once treated, you are less likely to visit a general practitioner over and over again.
Wellington Family Practice, FL
Seeing a family doctor frequently is linked to better health outcomes. If you don’t have one yet, Wellington Family practice is accepting patients. At Advanced Medical Clinic, our board-certified family practitioners are dedicated to delivering compassionate, patient-oriented, and evidence-based care to you and your family.
To learn more about the services we offer, or to arrange a visit, call us today at (561) 434-1935, or you can request an appointment online. We offer same-day and walk-in appointments for your convenience.