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What is family medicine?

Family medicine is the medical specialty that focuses on continuing care for the overall health of people and their families.

The defining quality of family medicine is the nature of the doctor-patient relationship, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Family doctors care for people and their families over long periods of time, serving as their primary contact with the healthcare system.

Family doctors treat health problems of all kinds in people of all ages and genders. These doctors focus on preventive healthcare, which means helping people stay healthy and avoid illness or disease.

Family doctors are trained in six major medical areas, according to the AAFP. They can offer treatment or referral for all diseases and conditions.

Reviewed 3/18/2021

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