A doctor of family medicine is uniquely trained to care for a patient as a whole person. This includes diagnosing and treating illnesses, providing routine health screenings and checkups, and also providing counseling on lifestyle changes that can prevent illnesses before they develop.
The cornerstone of family medicine is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. It is common for a family doctor to provide care for entire families from infancy through adulthood. Research shows that people who have an ongoing relationship with a primary-care doctor have better overall health outcomes, lower death rates and lower total costs of care.