A family doctor is that doctor who takes care of an entire family medically. They create a great relationship between patients and their loved ones. These are the kind of doctors who understand your body inside out and can know of any conditions within the family.
Here are some concrete reasons why you need to make sure you have a family physician for all of your health concerns:
- Seeing your family doctor ensures that you can treat a health problem before it gets serious.
- A family doctor builds a relationship with you and your family. You will have more confidence in someone you see on a regular basis.
- Family practitioners will handle your family’s yearly physicals and colds, as well as all the bigger issues that need attending to.
- A family doctor is a key source of information if something goes wrong with your health.
- If for some reason you need a specialist, your family doctor can refer you to a trusted expert.
- The best thing about having a physician for your family is that he knows your medical history. He can call in prescriptions, give advice, and make recommendations for your care.
- Lastly, with a family doctor you are placing your health (and your family’s health) in the hands of someone you know and trust.
In order to get a good family doctor you can consult with your family and friends. You can also check them online. After that you can give them a call to book a personal visit. There are are some things you should ask to know who you will settle for.
If you are looking for a family doctor, try talking to your friends and family. Once you have the names of a few doctors, call their offices to get more information. Some things that you should ask include:
- Do they accept your insurance?
- What are the office hours?
- What hospital does the doctor use?
- How many doctors are in the practice?
Once you find a doctor who meets your needs, schedule an appointment so that you can meet and talk to the doctor. During the appointment, make sure:
- You’re comfortable talking to the doctor.
- The doctor answers all your questions.
- The doctor explains things so that you can understand.
- You had enough time to ask all your questions.
Remember, it takes time to build a relationship with your doctor.
The problem is that many people still regard having a family doctor as a luxury. This means many people have misinterpreted the concept of a family doctor.
The views of patients (with a variety of LTCs) on family doctors in Hong Kong were explored. Two groups of participants were interviewed; a) those who considered themselves as having a family doctor, b) those who considered themselves as not having a family doctor (either with a regular primary care doctor but not a family doctor or with no regular primary care doctor). In-depth individual semi-structured interviews were carried out with 28 participants (10 with a family doctor, 10 with a regular doctor, and 8 with no regular doctor) and analysed using the constant comparative method.
Participants who did not have a family doctor were familiar with the concept but regarded it as a ‘luxury item’ for the rich within the private healthcare system. Those with a regular family doctor (all private) regarded having one as important to their and their family’s health. Participants in both groups felt that as well as the more usual family medicine specialist or general practitioner, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners also had the potential to be family doctors. However most participants attended the public healthcare system for management of their LTCs whether they had a family doctor or not. Cost, perceived need, quality, trust, and choice were all barriers to the use of family doctors for the management of their LTCs.