When you need to seek medical care, where do you turn? If your child has an unexplained ache or pain, who do you think of first in terms of a doctor? Your partner has an ongoing battle with cholesterol, from whom can you seek advice? Believe it or not, all of these issues and many others can be brilliantly handled under one roof and by a Family Medicine specialist. Think of it as being like a one stop shop for all your medical needs.
By taking a more holistic approach to care, Family Medicine doctors can cover a comprehensive set of clinical problems. Here’s what you need to know.
How do Family Medicine specialists cover so much ground?
Doctors specialising in Family Medicine have broad knowledge and skill-based training in paediatric medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, psychiatry, radiology, ophthalmology, urology and more. These doctors treat the widest variety of conditions and ages so they are trained to diagnose and treat a broad range of ailments.
Who can see a Family Medicine specialist?
A medical specialty devoted to comprehensive health care for people of all ages, Family Medicine can provide continuing care for individuals, children and families alike. It is a medical specialty which integrates the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences. The scope of the practice covers all ages, all genders, each organ system and every disease entity.
The American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP) explains:
“Unlike paediatricians, who only provide care for children, and internists, who only provide care for adults, Family Medicine encompasses all ages, sexes, each organ system, and every disease entity. Family physicians also pay special attention to their patients’ lives within the context of family and the community. While there are similarities between family medicine and the other primary care specialties, family physicians have an unprecedented opportunity to have an impact on the health of an individual patient over that person’s entire lifetime.”
How does Family Medicine differ from other specialties?
Family Medicine tends to look at the person as a whole by taking into consideration a patient’s physical and mental state as well as personal beliefs, family structure, workplace and even social aspects of life. Compare that to seeing your orthopaedist who is quite unlikely to inquire about your family values when you’re there to have your knee checked out.
Family Medicine specialists will take the time to listen to your feelings and worries, not just the symptoms of your illness or disease. These caring doctors are generally more attentive and empathetic which is of importance in times of medical needs.
When faced with chronic illnesses, for example, the skills of communication and coordination of a Family Medicine specialist can actually lead to better clinical outcomes. This is due in part to the fact that in some cases chronic illnesses may involve lifestyle changes and/or mental illnesses. Having a deep level of understanding and support is crucial. Family Medicine specialists have experience in the provision of medical support to all stages of life and family cycles, making them an ideal to guide families through challenging times.
Do Family Medicine specialists work in the hospital?
Yes, in fact, the all-round knowledge and clinical experience of a Family Medicine specialist makes them well placed an excellent coordinator among the various specialties within the hospital. They also have extensive training in emotional support which may be important in times of critical illness. Even after illness recovery, a family doctor still has a role which is to effectively help incorporate patients back into the community.
The Family Medicine specialists process
They will start by enquiring about you as a person including your family life, type of work you do, habits and other lifestyle choices in addition to the particular concern you may have at the time. All the information taken together helps better understand the areas of concern above and beyond the alleviation of medical complaints. Having knowledge about you as a person helps the Family Medicine specialist tailor their explanation of your specific issues as well as personalise any treatments you may need.
Visiting a Family Medicine specialist will provide a more holistic recovery for almost any type of illness. For those interested in consulting a Family Medicine specialist, Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong is currently offering Family Medicine consultation at HK$400. Should you need a specialist referral, Gleneagles also provides all-rounded specialist services to meet your needs.
More about Gleneagles
Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong (Gleneagles) is a state-of-the-art private hospital committed to providing Hong Kong people with high-quality and accessible healthcare services. Located at Wong Chuk Hang on Hong Kong Island South, Gleneagles provides 500 beds and a comprehensive range of clinical services spanning more than 35 specialties and subspecialties.
Gleneagles is the first private hospital in Hong Kong offering two-bedded standard rooms and to offer all-inclusive and fixed-price medical packages as part of its efforts to provide price assurance and transparent pricing structure.
Address: 1 Nam Fung Path, Wong Chuk Hang
Tel: (+852) 3153 9000