May-June 2012 Table of Contents

LETTERS

Fam Pract Manag. 2012 May-June;19(3):7-9.



FREE PREVIEW Login or buy this issue to read the full article. AAFP members and paid subscribers get free access to all articles. Subscribe now.

Family physicians need to think outside the box

I hear so much about how the scope of family medicine is shrinking (see “The State of Family Medicine,” January/February 2012). In some aspects, such as obstetrics and procedures, it is shrinking in many parts of the country. But I've been hearing this for my whole career, dating back to the 1970s when family physicians gave up doing gallbladder procedures and hysterectomies. What is really happening is change.

Since 2009, I have been in a practice model that is providing the best and most intensive family medicine I have ever experienced or seen. When a family physician has 30- and 60-minute appointments, new things happen. Besides being sure that acute and chronic problems are addressed, I am able to address wellness. I ask my patients if they are at the health level they want to be. Most say no. Then we take the time to map out a strategy to meet their goals. All of my patients are connected with me online. This expands the relationship nature of our care into lifestyle modification and motivational counseling. These are new skills for family physicians blessed with practicing in an advanced medical home.

The essence of the family physician is to be a personal physician to individuals and families. In the past, that mainly amounted to stamping out disease. Now our role has expanded to being a health coach and advisor. This is a great time to be a family physician if we just get out of the box of the brief office visit and productivity-driven practice.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Send your comments to fpmedit@aafp.org. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. We cannot respond to all letters we receive. Those chosen for publication will be edited for length and style.

Copyright © 2012 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact fpmserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions


Article Tools

  • Print page
  • Share this page
  • FPM CME Quiz

Information From Industry