Major Differences Between Family Practice and General Practice Physicians


Emergency walk in clinic

Many times families don’t believe that there is an immediate need to find family care physicians. They prefer to just wait until something happens and then visit a medical walk in clinic or an emergency room. Research shows, however that these services do not provide the same type of care that medical homes can provide to their patients. Choosing either a family practice physician or a general practice physician allows your family to receive treatment they need when they need it by someone who knows them better than a clinic or emergency room doctor. To determine which one would best suit you and your family read below to see the differences between the two.


A family practice physician generally sees the entire family. They will generally diagnose and treat majority of illnesses and injuries there in the office. They will prescribe medicine and let you know the side effects and interactions. They have training that allows them to provide family health care for everyone from birth to old age.

A general practice physician focuses on treating anyone no matter their age. These doctors will diagnose problems, but most of them send patients to a specialist for treatment. These doctors receive training which allows them to treat patients but not any specific ages as family care physicians do. They will identify areas that need continued care and refer patients to a specialist to provide continued care.


Family practice doctors see patients usually throughout their entire life. This means that they are able to focus more on preventative medicine for patients. They are usually able to diagnose problems sooner and spot potential problems. This means they can focus on preventing issues from turning into major problems if not prevent them altogether.

General Practice doctors focus more on conditions that come on acutely. They immediately treat these conditions and then refer patients to specialists who can continue to monitor the condition. They have relationships with specialists so that you can feel as though you have an entire network of doctors caring for you should an issue arise.

In general family care physicians get to know a patient over time. They spend quality time with their patient over and over and over. Family care providers get to know their patients issues, family dynamics and overall health. This can be helpful for those performing a primary care physician search for a doctor. A family physician can be a smart choice for the entire family, and a doctor that can grow with your family.

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