With the COVID-19 infection devastating routine life on a scale hitherto undreamt of, the importance of doctors has never been felt before. Doctors have an extremely unpredictable and difficult duty of diagnosing and treating patients tirelessly, battling the constant risk of getting infected with some kind of infection and even being cautious of not spreading it to others.
The two consecutive years of distress due to the highly spreading infection once again made us reminisce about all the contributions and sacrifices made by the doctors, medical professionals, physicians healthcare providers, all around the world daily, sometimes even at the cost of their own lives. To honour this noble profession and express our gratitude to the doctors who work tirelessly 24x7, to ensure our well-being, every year Doctor's Day is celebrated on different dates across the globe.
In India, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), celebrates National Doctor’s Day on July 1st annually, to acknowledge their selfless, exemplary contributions to serving humanity. National Doctor's Day was first celebrated in the year 1991 to honour the celebrated physician and former Chief Minister of Bengal, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy to recognize his enormous contributions to the medical fraternity and towards serving humanity. This year, the theme for National Doctor’s Day is ‘Family Doctors on the Front Line'.
Let this article be an eye-opener about the importance of having a Family Practice Doctor.
Well, health is uncertain and if you have a sudden medical requirement, such as cough and cold symptoms, a persistent back pain, a slight heaviness on the chest, an abrupt allergic reaction or even if you suspect you might have Covid-19, who would be the first person to call and ask for help? The answer would surely be ‘Your Family Doctor!’
So, Who Is A Family Practice Doctor?
In the medical profession, a family practice doctor is usually a general practitioner (GP) who treats acute and chronic maladies, procures preventive care and lets people know when they are required to consult a specialist about a certain condition.
Unlike doctors who specialize in a specific field – like a gastroenterologist, an obstetrician, a gynaecologist, an ENT specialist or a urologist, etc., a family doctor’s responsibilities are not just restricted to the specific organs of the body, rather they usually have particular skills in treating people with multiple health problems, irrespective of their age, gender or phase of life. They are also well aware of the past and present medical conditions of the patient and even the entire family medical history.
What Does A Family Doctor Do?
A Family Doctor offers a wide range of health care services including:
- Routine health inspection
- Health risk assessments
- Screening examinations
- Healthy lifestyle guidance of common chronic conditions
- Emergency and urgent care of injuries
The Extraordinary Advantages Of Having A Family Doctor
Provides Life-Long Care
Family doctors usually treat the entire family including infants, toddlers, children, teenagers, and adults. A family practice doctor usually sees their patients for decades of their lives. As these medical practitioners have the mastery to treat and manage a wide range of medical conditions, they can be your immediate care doctor at any point in your life. Having a family doctor also helps one create a great lifetime relationship with their physician and helps the patient be open about any illness.
Comprehends The Patient’s And Family's Medical History
When a doctor is treating a person along with the entire family for years of their life, they cultivate a keen understanding of the patient’s medical history and even the family's medical history. This chiefly helps the doctor to make accurate diagnoses, suggest proper medicines sans counter-indications and monitor one more closely for any alterations or red flags in the monthly or quarterly health screenings. Alongside tracking medical history, a family doctor also keeps a note of the routine lives of the entire family and provides counselling on different matters. For example; even if there is any problem in the patient’s personal life like he or she is passing through a stressful situation, the family doctor helps navigate stress and suggests ways of anger relief.
Detects Early Signs Of Emerging Conditions
Since family practice doctors perform monthly, quarterly or yearly check-ups, they are the first ones to detect a health anomaly if any, with the early signs and symptoms. And if they notice any emerging condition, they are usually the primary care providers navigating you throughout. They chiefly carry out specific diagnostic tests and procedures to detect the condition, interpret the results, monitor the health, and revaluate further steps if necessary. They also guide their patients to manage chronic medical issues such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and arthritis. They can also treat acute medical conditions like sudden injuries and many infections, and help one steer through stressful times.
Advises On The Need Of A Specialist
In some cases, a certain medical condition might get detected by your family doctor that needs consultation with or care from a specialist. These health maladies can include chronic issues like heart disease, and cancer. When anyone in the family develops one of these conditions, the family physician usually helps by providing the primary care and also finding a specialist who fits the exact needs and personality of the family member. Once the treatment starts with the specialist, both the doctors usually work together to shape up the prescriptions and regulate the condition.
Enhances Overall Health
There's ample proof that having a family doctor not only improves the overall health of the entire family but also saves money in the long term. Be it common complaints like the flu, bladder infections, sinus infections, concerns about pregnancy, child’s weight, etc., your family doctor is your go-to person. Going for regular check-ups at the family doctor helps in the early detection of acute and chronic issues, and also helps manage them on time. The family doctor also helps as an emergency care provider in case of sports injuries or allergic conditions. This also reduces hospital visits and reduction on total healthcare spending for an individual.