Suburban Healthcare Associates
Family Practice Questions and Answers
Family practice helps patients of all ages, and they manage common complaints and help diagnose emergency conditions. Suburban Healthcare Associates is your local, full-service, and privately owned medical clinic and we specialize in family medicine. For more information call us or schedule an appointment online. We serve patients from Naperville IL, Plainfield IL, Joliet IL, Romeoville IL, Shorewood IL, Crest Hill IL and Aurora IL.
If someone asked you which type of doctor schedules the largest number of appointments per year, what would you guess? A pediatrician? A gynecologist? How about an obstetrician?
Well, it’s actually not any of those. Approximately 1 in 4 of all doctor office visits are made to family physicians. That’s 214 million office visits annually in the United States – nearly 74 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Family medicine doctors offer comprehensive care to patients of all ages and genders through all stages of life.
What does a family practice do?
A family practice, which houses family medicine doctors, performs a number of essential roles for patients.
- Preventative care: Weight control and nutritional counselling, suggesting best physical exercises for your fitness level, stress relief and anger management techniques.
- Managing common complaints: If you or your child needs medication or is sick, your family doctor is your best resource for the appropriate prescription medication and treatments.
- Managing chronic illness: Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, asthma, and cancer are common chronic illnesses managed by family doctors.
- Diagnosing emergency conditions: Your family doctor knows your medical history, so in the event of an emergency, they might be able to make informed decisions based on the information they have gathered on you over the years.
- Refer you to a specialist: In the event you have a health issue that needs further attention, your family doctor may refer you to a specialist for treatment.
- Go get a check-up: You should visit your family doctor regularly in order to monitor your health.
What is family practice vs. general practice?
A family practice is more for people who require general check-ups, and who have common illnesses and who need shots and physicals. A general practice is important if you have been diagnosed with a disease or need extensive testing with x-rays, or scans. Both practices work with hospitals and urgent care clinics in the event of an emergency.
When should I see my family doctor?
You should visit your family doctor at least once a year for a check-up, or more often when you are being treated for an illness. But, did you know that having a consistent relationship with your family doctor may help ensure you are healthier as you age? Yes, it’s true: seeing your doctor on a regular basis will help you live longer. Your family doctor closely follows your life cycle, knows your personal and family history, and they treat more than you think, like heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. They can treat acute situations like injuries and sinus infections, and also help throughout pregnancy. Additionally, your family doctor is able to perform minor surgeries, and when you need a specialist, they will help find a doctor who fits your specific needs and personality.
How do I find a family doctor?
If you don’t have a doctor, then you should start to look for one as it could take you a while to find one in your area accepting new patients. Ask your pediatrician or ask family and friends if their family doctor is taking in new patients. You can also go online and search for family doctors in your area. As well, you can check your insurance to view a full list of doctors in your insurance network. Once you make an appointment, talk to your doctor about your healthcare needs, especially if you have a complex medical condition. You and your family should see a doctor once a year, which will give them the opportunity to perform routine screenings and physical exams. Your doctor will also answer any questions or concerns you have, and they may offer advice on healthy living tips, or treatments for chronic illnesses.