Navigating Health Care With Your Family Doctor

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To be a smart patient, it’s best to consolidate your medical care, health history and medical records into as few places as possible. Smart patients realize the advantages of having a medical home for their health care.

A patient-centered medical home provides an ongoing relationship and partnership with a personal physician who provides continuous and comprehensive primary care. This concept offers an alternative to the increasingly fragmented American health care system.

The following five videos illustrate the valuable role family physicians play as they help patients navigate a complex and confusing health care system. They highlight:

Please watch the videos and feel free to share them with your friends, family members and colleagues. Each one contains useful information that can help you become a better (and smarter) patient.

The Specialty of Family Medicine

This video describes the specialty of family medicine, its scope and its role in today's health care system. Family physicians are the only doctors who specialize in ALL of you. They provide ongoing, comprehensive health care for people of all ages, both sexes and for a full range of medical conditions.

Family Medicine and Preventive Care

This video describes family physicians' special training in preventive medicine and their ability to help patients improve and maintain good health. With guidance from a family physician, patients have the power to help influence their health care and its costs. Family physicians are trained to catch minor disorders before they develop into serious problems. An ongoing relationship with a family physician can help ensure you receive the most effective and efficient health care possible.

Family Medicine and Chronic Care Management

This video describes family physicians' training in all major medical areas and their ability to diagnose and manage the treatment of the full range of problems patients present. Family physicians are not only experts in diabetes, heart disease, asthma and other chronic conditions, but they are also an expert in you. With special knowledge of how your chronic disease might influence other medical conditions, your family doctor can successfully manage your overall health.

Family Medicine and Health Information Technology

Family physicians across the country are adopting electronic health records (EHRs), beginning to communicate with their patients via e-mail, and are e-prescribing. When combined, these elements provide improved documentation of patients’ medical histories and management of chronic diseases. Many practices have an Internet presence that features online scheduling, e-mail consultations, direct communications with other practices and a variety of other high-tech services. Ultimately you, the patient, benefit.

Fixing Health Care: What Women Want

A recent nationwide poll found that American women want a health care system in which they and their families can conveniently obtain preventive services, see their personal physicians the day they become sick, and receive coordinated follow-up care if they require hospitalization or care from other physicians. A patient-centered medical home provides all of these.

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Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 05/14
Created: 07/08

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