Putting the family in family medicine


Fam Pract Manag. 2004 Oct;11(9):16.

To the Editor:

Dr. Sanford Brown’s article [“What’s in a name?” Practice Diary, April 2004, page 60] is a good jumping-off point for discussing the Future of Family Medicine project. The use of the word “family” in what we do is hardly “arbitrary,” as stated in the article. When Paul, the patient described in Dr. Brown’s article, has provided well-child and sick care for a toddler, helped that toddler’s father quit smoking, sat up all night with the mother during a difficult second labor, ridden in an ambulance with the new little brother who is being transported to a tertiary care center, reviewed the great-grandmother’s hospice care plan with the nursing staff, and provided grief counseling and short-term anxiolytics to other family members, then he is welcome to reopen the discussion of who can have the word “family” in his or her job description.


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