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Family Practice Definitions

A family or general practice doctor cares for the health needs of people of all ages and genders. Unless you need to see a specialist, when you go to the doctor's office you will generally be seeing a family practice physician. The following are some terms you will come across when going to the doctor's office.

  • Clinic – A medical health center that is dedicated to the care of outpatients, those who do not need hospital care. Most family care practices offer the same services as clinics.
  • Appointment – To meet with a family doctor or nurse practitioner you will need to set up a date and time with their office, as most practices discourage walk-ins. If you are sick, however, you can usually make an appointment to see the doctor that day.
  • Health Insurance – Insurance that covers the cost of treatment for illness or injury. While making an appointment to see the doctor, confirm that they do accept your insurance. Most insurances will also provide you a list of family and general practice doctors you can use.
  • Exam – Family doctors are licensed to provide tests to diagnose illness or health. While most simple tests can be done within the practice, such as blood and urine tests, some medical conditions may need referral to see a specialist.
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    American Academy of Family Physicians
    Leawood, KS 66211
    If you are interested in starting a family or general medical practice, consider enrolling in our academy. Providing educational resources for any doctor looking to start a general or family practice.
     
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    Christiansen Scot MD
    If No Answer Call Regional M, Manchester, IA 52057
    (1) Review Write a review
    (563) 927-3232
     
    User Review: "Dr. Miller was the best, most thorough, kind and understanding doctor my kids have ever had. We loved our experience with..." - Tiffani (MN)
    Sanford Rock Rapids Medical Center
    801 S Greene Street, Rock Rapids, IA 51246
    Dedicated to the work of health and healing. Improving the human condition through exceptional care, innovation and discovery.
    (712) 472-2592
    Seymour Medical Clinic
    515 W Wall St, Seymour, IA 52590
    (641) 898-2898
    Mercy Family Medicine of Washington
    1230 S Iowa Ave, Washington, IA 52353
    (319) 653-7291
    Covenant Clinic
    309 2nd St, Gladbrook, IA 50635
    (641) 473-2707
    Covenant Clinic
    501 Main St Ste 1, Reinbeck, IA 50669
    (319) 345-6461
    M Msc Clinic Conrad
    105 N Church St, Conrad, IA 50621
    (641) 366-2123
    Mercy Services Williamsburg
    819 S Highland St, Williamsburg, IA 52361
    (319) 668-2722
    Dorothy Cline Campbell DO
    607 W Jefferson St, Bloomfield, IA 52537
    (641) 664-3621
    Washington County Hospital Medical Clinic
    444 E Polk St, Washington, IA 52353
    (319) 653-6601
    Covenant Clinic
    309 S Cherry St, Shell Rock, IA 50670
    (319) 885-4363
    Covenant Clinic
    105 S Walnut St, Fairbank, IA 50629
    (319) 635-2110
    Christy Clinic DO
    202 S 2nd St, Farmington, IA 52626
    (319) 878-3524
    Charles J Latendresse MD
    1506 G Ave, Grundy Center, IA 50638
    (319) 824-3181
    Covenant Clinic
    3562 Lafayette Rd, Evansdale, IA 50707
    (319) 272-3080


    If you or a family member is sick, generally you will see a doctor at his or her office. Whether you go to a general medical practice or a family physician is up to your preference. The terms used to be synonymous in the health profession, but they are no longer the same. After World War II, medical sub specialties became more popular and many physicians left general practice. It was thought that four years of undergraduate school, four years of medical school, and one year of internship was not enough training to properly practice medicine. Three year residency programs were added for additional training and to allow candidates to take board certification exams. General health practitioners still exist to some degree, but they are usually referred to as internal medicine. Family doctors are trained to treat people of all ages and usually serve as primary care physicians at their clinics. They often have a staff or nurses available to help gather information and perform basic tests including temperature and blood pressure, though the formal diagnosis is always performed by the doctor. If a patient infected with bacteria, doctors will prescribe antibiotics, but will generally tell you to gather over the counter medications for a virus, like the flu. They'll also know whether the patient needs to be sent to another facility for additional testing, like x rays or blood work. It's common to need an appointment in order to see the physician at his or her center and though insurance isn't always necessary, it does severely reduce costs for the patient.
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