Formerly called "family practice," family medicine was recognized in 1969 as the twentieth medical specialty and residencies were developed in response to public need for well-trained generalist physicians. The official definition is: "family medicine is the medical specialty which provides continuing, comprehensive health care for the individual and family. It is a specialty in breadth that integrates the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences. The scope of family medicine encompasses all ages, both sexes, each organ system and every disease entity."
Today's family physician is trained to provide primary health care, coordinate the care of all family members with other specialized physicians and community services, teach preventive medicine to patients, and be the patient.s advocate in all aspects of health care delivery. Primarily, the family physician differs from the "general practice" physician not only in formal residency training but also in the focus of delivering health care in the context of family rather than the patient alone.
Is this specialty right for you?
Log in to take our quiz or see your results Sign In Join SDN
American Academy of Family Physicians
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is one of the largest national medical organizations, representing 105,900 family physicians, family medicine residents, and medical students nationwide. ... MORE >
Virtual Family Medicine Interest Group - pre-med and medical student information
Just as Family Medicine Interest Groups (FMIGs) serve to promote the broad and opportunity-filled specialty of family medicine at medical schools across the nation, the Virtual FMIG serves to do the same for anyone interested in family medicine.... MORE >
In How to Choose A Medical Specialty, you'll find helpful information straight from specialists from typical daily schedules to advice for interested students... MORE >