When choosing a physician, how do you decide what kind of practitioner is right for you? There are two main types of general physicians to choose from – internal medicine and family practice.
Internal medicine physicians are focused on care of patients 18 and older, while family practice physicians provide care for all ages – including some of the services women can and do get from an OB/GYN. Family practitioners have a broad range of experience and training to diagnose and treat an assortment of illnesses and ailments. Depending on their individual training, some family medicine doctors also have expertise in orthopedics, sports medicine or palliative care.
The training necessary to become a family medicine physician makes for a well-rounded professional, capable to diagnose and treat many types of illnesses at any stage. The family medicine focus provides comprehensive care throughout life – and means the efficient treatment of minor ailments or surgical procedures, the diagnosis and treatment of serious, acute medical conditions, and keeping up to date on the most recent literature on preventive medicine.
In addition to treating common colds, infectious diseases and chronic health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, family practitioners also receive appropriate training to do a number of in-office procedures like removing skin cancers, treating abscesses and joint infections, and performing gynecological and breast exams. Although some family medicine offices begin seeing patients in their teens, CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates – Ringgold provides care beginning at age 6. Seeing patients at a younger age helps develop a strong relationship and have first-hand knowledge of their medical history.
The most important part of selecting the right physician for you or your family? Finding someone you’re comfortable with – who listens to your needs, asks engaging questions, offers practical solutions and hopefully relieves some anxiety about whatever health concern you’re facing.
The relationship with a family medicine physician can offer benefits in the long term – years and even decades into the future. As you and your physician become more comfortable with each other, they become better attuned to changes in your health throughout your life, which can help them address and manage the unexpected.
To find a family physician who’s right for you and your family, visit CHI Memorial Medical Group for a list of practices in your area. To schedule an appointment with Dr. McClellan at CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates – Ringgold, call (706) 861-4990. Same day appointments for established patients as well as video visits are available.