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What is family medicine?

Family medicine is similar to internal medicine in that it deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of physical illnesses and conditions. Unlike internal medicine, however, family medicine is designed to provide comprehensive healthcare for patients of all ages. A family practitioner is like a pediatrician and an internist combined into one, and cares for children and adults alike. Doctors who specialize in this type of medicine are often known as family physicians or family doctors.

What does family medicine include?

Family physicians receive extensive training during and after medical school in order to provide care for a wide range of conditions for patients with ages ranging from newborns to seniors. Their residency training following graduation from medical school typically lasts for three years, and includes training in six major medical areas:

  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Internal medicine
  • Psychiatry and neurology
  • Surgery
  • Community medicine

Family doctors also receive instruction in a variety of other areas, such as geriatrics, emergency medicine, ophthalmology, radiology, orthopedics, otolaryngology and urology. This enables them to deliver a wide range of medical services.

Some of the services provided by family physicians include:

  • Preventive care (including routine checkups, health-risk assessments, immunization and screening tests, and personal counseling on maintaining a healthy lifestyle)
  • Diagnosis and treating illnesses
  • Managing chronic illness

Your family doctor may work with and coordinate care provided by other specialists if you have a chronic illness such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and asthma.

We invite you to contact our office to schedule an appointment with our family doctor, Dr. Thomas Whaiton, and to learn more about family medicine in Opa Locka, Miami, Miami Gardens and Coconut Grove, Florida, and the surrounding areas of Miami-Dade County, Florida.