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General medicine is the specialty that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of acute or chronic conditions and the provision of preventive health care. General medicine/family medicine specialists provide medical care for patients of all ages, from infants to elderly, men and women with various medical problems.
Most patients have multiple conditions and they require polymedication. Through a general medical consultation provided by your specialist doctor, you will avoid overstating medical consultations that often prove unnecessary. The specialist in general medicine is the one who will analyze the symptoms you are experiencing and decide if they need another consultation in another specialty.
Also, the general medical practitioner will supervise and monitor all prescribed treatments so that they do not diminish or potentiate their effects, resulting in adverse effects or inactivation of some of the drugs through an uncommon combination. There is a chance that a patient who has been consulted by more specialized doctors has not yet established a clear diagnosis, and that is why it is advisable to first come to a general medical practitioner who can do this.
General Physicians are highly trained specialists who provide a range of non-surgical health care to adult patients. They care for difficult, serious or unusual medical problems and continue to see the patient until these problems have been resolved or stabilized. Much of their work takes place with hospitalized patients and most general physicians also see patients in their consulting rooms.
Their broad range of expertise differentiates General Physicians from other specialists who limit their medical practice to problems involving only one body system or to a special area of medical knowledge.
Global Approach: The general physician's assessment is always comprehensive, no matter if the referral identifies one health problem or several. This global approach enables problems to be detected and diagnostic possibilities to be considered which might otherwise be missed.
Complex Care: A general physician is specially trained to care for patients with complex illnesses, in which the diagnosis may be difficult. His broad training provides the necessary expertise in diagnosis and treatment of problems affecting different body systems in a patient. He is also trained to deal with the social and psychological impact of a disease.
Procedures: A general physician is trained to carry out a variety of medical procedures for the diagnosis and management of patients with severe and complex illnesses.
Diagnosis: He also has a special training in the usefulness, limitations, and costs of most diagnostic tests. Therefore he will use diagnostic tests logically, safely and effectively to investigate difficult diagnostic problems.
Treatment: : A general physician is knowledgeable about complex interactions of medications given simultaneously to treat multiple illnesses in a patient, has special expertise in making treatment decisions to help patients with complex and serious illnesses and is always up to date with the latest medical treatment options.
Pre- and Post-operative assessment: A general physician is frequently asked to review patients before surgery, advising surgeons of a patient's risk status. They can also assist in the postoperative care and ongoing medical problems or complications.
A general practitioner (GP) or general physician has a very broad range of medical knowledge and will tailor the consultation according to your needs. He will ask about your current symptoms, their onset, duration, character, relieving and exacerbating factors and previous tests and treatments, other medical problems, medications, allergies and social and family history.
An experienced GP can learn a great deal by simply looking at your nails, hands, skin, eyes, and mouth. Then examining your heart, lungs, abdomen and if necessary your nervous system will complete the picture. The physician will then decide on the most appropriate tests to undertake to confirm their clinical suspicions.
General practitioners are required to follow the same education and training route as all other physicians. They have to pass a national licensing exam before they can practice and they need a state license before they can start to work as physicians. Some countries simply require graduation from an approved medical school, a completed residency, and a national license, while others may add other conditions. Board certification for physicians is not mandatory, but many find it useful because it shows that they are experts in their chosen fields of medicine. That is why some general practitioners choose board certification in family medicine.