A definition of family medicine and general practice

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14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Definitions of general practice and family medicine have tended to be difficult to understand. We propose a new definition that is brief and clear. General practice / family medicine is defined as the medical specialty that manages common and long-term illnesses in children and adults, focusing on overall health and well-being. The definition should be followed by local examples of diseases within the scope of primary care such as asthma, diabetes as well as end-of-life care. This definition is based on the concept of common illnesses, reflecting the reality that family physicians manage most health conditions in a community. Unlike 'comprehensive care', common illnesses is a scope of practice that is familiar and credible to laypersons. The new definition focuses on a unique and enduring attribute of the specialty: holistic care. This core characteristic of general practice encompasses patient-centred care and continuity across the family lifecycle. By being sharply focused, the definition can guide the nature of clinical care in general practice as well as the content of undergraduate and postgraduate training in family medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-77
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • Continuity
  • Family medicine
  • General practice
  • Holistic care
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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