Importance of general medicine

We continue to learn more on how the micro biome of the bacteria in the body affects things from a person’s weight to immune system function.  

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Lifestyle

April 4, 2022 - 4:04 PM

I enjoy visiting with my colleagues who are medical specialists. We dive in and explore the depths of a particular condition. However, there is something to say about the breadth of knowledge that a family medicine physician is expected to have. Your family doctor can run through the alphabet of conditions from acne to the zika virus.

A 2004 study in the Annals of Family Medicine found that a family medicine physician managed an average of 3.05 problems per clinic visit. For patients over 65 years of age, that number went up to 3.88 problems and patients with diabetes had an average of 4.60 problems addressed at each visit. A specialist physician will generally focus on one problem at each visit.  

However, patients are not made up of individual problems. The body functions as a unit and issues in one area can affect another unrelated organ system. We know that chronic pain can lead to depression and vice versa. Stooped posture due to compression fractures from osteoporosis can lead to lung issues as the ribs cannot open up as fully as they normally do. We continue to learn more on how the micro biome of the bacteria in the body affects things from a person’s weight to immune system function.  

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