Family Practice is the only specialty that is not limited by age, sex, disease or organ system. It is a recognized medical specialty that combines the biological, clinical, and behavioral sciences. It consists beyond medical school of a three year residency, board certification, continuing education and periodic re-certification.
Because of the abundance of good pediatricians and Ob-Gyns in the area, we do not see children under the age of seven or deliver babies. Otherwise we see men and women of all ages for all kinds of problems from head to toe, from trivial to life threatening. We specialize in you. We're interested not only in how you feel, but what you do, where you work, your relationships, your hobbies, your ancestors and descendants, your joys and stresses, your daily life. All of these affect your health and quality of life.
We strive to me your medical home; the natural starting point and center for acute services such as infections, injuries and new onset pains. We specialize in chronic services such as management of high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, thyroid problems, heart disease, arthritis, nervous problems and many other conditions. Perhaps our most important job is preventive services to head off problems before they happen — particularly immunizations and screening for early detection of diseases such as: cancer, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. We can also help with lifestyle modification regarding smoking, alcohol, diet and obesity. “Through an on-going relationship with a family physician in their medical home, patients can be assured of care that is not only accessible but also accountable, comprehensive, integrated, patient-centered, safe, scientifically valid, and satisfying to both patients and their physicians” (AAFP). It is here that we provide continuity of care and coordinate with laboratory, diagnostic imaging, pharmacies, specialists, home health agencies, hospitals and nursing homes.
Before the modern inventions of antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals, sterile technique and anesthesia there wasn't a lot the doctor could do but offer support and pain relief. With modern times and world wars came specialization, but it went too far leaving patients with several specialists but fragmented care. The new specialty of Family Medicine was developed with additional specialty training in continuity of care, disease management, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, OB-gyn, Psychiatry and other subspecialties. In addition to this knowledge and skill, Family Medicine has a unique process of long-term relationships with patients in the context of their family and daily life.
We can diagnose and treat the great majority of the problems presented to us. For those that we diagnose but cannot treat, such as those requiring surgery or other special procedure, we can guide you to a specialist appropriate to your needs. For those we cannot diagnose, we can get you started along the diagnostic path and steer you in the appropriate direction for diagnostic consultation. In any case, we can assist with communication and coordination among multiple specialties to help you prioritize your care and avoid conflicting or redundant testing and treatments. We look out for the "whole" you! We also take care of you within the context of your community, lifestyle and personal preferences. "High tech care. Old fashioned service."
Your health is ultimately your own responsibility. Within the limits of what you've been given by your ancestors and some degree of chance, how healthy you are for the rest of your life is up to you. We are here to advise you. Maintaining your health is a lot like maintaining your car. A car that is never serviced until it stops running does not serve its owner long. By looking at your risk factors, we may suggest ways to improve your chances for a healthy and long life. By periodic examinations we may be able to alert you to invisible problems and stop them before they become noticeable. By paying attention to your own body and bringing problems to our attention we may be able to detect small problems and prevent them from becoming big ones. Even serious diseases can be made more tolerable by working together. When necessary, we will guide you to appropriate specialists in your area of need.
Though we will advise you where we can, the cost of health care is ultimately your responsibility. Regardless of who appears to be paying the bill, sooner or later it comes out of your pocket. Good health care is very reasonable. Absolute perfection and certainty are infinitely expensive.