Family medicine

Family medicine[note 1] is a medical specialty within primary care that provides continuing and comprehensive health care for the individual and family across all ages, genders, diseases, and parts of the body.[1][2] The specialist, who is usually a primary care physician, is named a family physician.[note 2] It is often referred to as general practice and a practitioner as a general practitioner. Historically, their role was once performed by any doctor with qualifications from a medical school and who works in the community. However, since the 1950s, family medicine / general practice has become a specialty in its own right, with specific training requirements tailored to each country.[3][4][5] The names of the specialty emphasize its holistic nature and/or its roots in the family. It is based on knowledge of the patient in the context of the family and the community, centering on disease prevention and health promotion.[6] According to the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA), the aim of family medicine is "promoting personal, comprehensive and continuing care for the individual in the context of the family and the community".[7] The issues of values underlying this practice are usually known as primary care ethics.

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