General Practice:What is Family Medicine

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--Laligammohan 03:44, 29 July 2010 (UTC)== What is the difference between General Practice and Family Medicine? ==

While some would regard these two terms as synonymous, for others the distinction is essential. It is clear that in nearly all jurisdictions, there is a very high degree of overlap between the two areas. Sometimes the distinction is made that Family Medicine entails specific training and certification whereas General Practice connotes no specialty training.

The Royal College of General Practitioners in London, UK, would be unlikely to agree with that last statement.

For some colleges, Family Medicine is now seen as a specialty in its own right, with every bit as much complexity as other specialties, and often more challenging. In Canada, for example, certification by the College of Family Physicians of Canada ( is comparable to many Board exams in the US, and has quite stringent requirements regarding maintenance of this certification.

However, it is also clear that many General Practitioners or Family Physicians are now narrowing their scope of practice. The "family" connection in Family Medicine is sometimes a bit tenuous. Some GPs have a scope of practice that is so narrow, it belies the term generalist.

So how then do you define "what is a family physician?" - definitions do exist for some colleges but these have not always kept up with the times. There is now some debate as to whether a GP who sees, for example, a practice consisting only of varicose vein sclerotherapy is a "general practitioner", or a "family physician".

For many, this debate is moot. But for the Colleges, this lack of clarity can convey a loss of corporate identity. I definitely think that both "General Practice and Family Medicine" are one and the same at the Primary Care Medicine Level as,here in India at least,the GP or FAMILY Medicine Physician is associated with the Patient's Family in every which way,that is provides not only Medical Treatment but also Educates,Counsels and Advises the Family as He is the one,who knows about what all things are going on in the Family apart from Sickness as He takes part in most of all the Family's every activity/occasion whether happy or sad to provide not only Psychological but also to a certain extent Moral Support and Direct the Family Members.Ofcourse whatever I have mentioned happens mainly in the Rural Areas and doesn't take place in the Urban Areas where the amount of Distrust is more.Laligamn,July,29,2010.