What Does Family Physician Mean? banner

By westgate April 3, 2020

What Does Family Physician Mean?

Let’s clear up a common misconception: You do not have to have a large family to go to a family physician. The term family physician simply means that these are doctors who have the medical training to care for people of all ages – from children to older adults. With 7 years of medical training as well as continuing education classes throughout their careers, family physicians have a wide range of expertise to be your first point of contact if any medical issue should arise.

Even if you are in your 20s, single, with no children and healthy, it is still advisable to start building a relationship with a family doctor – even when you are healthy. Your life status and health will change over time! You may get married, have children and most of us will encounter a degree of illness or injury at some point in life. If you have already established a strong patient/doctor relationship, it will be easier and much less stressful to get care for you or your loved ones in a timely fashion.

Family Physicians and Coronavirus

The recent coronavirus outbreak is an excellent example. People who think they might have contracted this virus will most likely contact their family physician first to discuss their symptoms. By knowing the patient’s medical history and risk factors, the family physician may be able to diagnose coronavirus quicker – or help set a patient’s mind at ease by letting them know their symptoms point to a common cold or other illness.

A family physician can also keep you updated on preventative care measures such as vaccinations and screenings to keep you healthy. Scheduling regular visits with a family physician will be beneficial in the detection of health concerns so treatment can be administered as quickly as possible if necessary. Even if specialized treatment is recommended, your family physician may provide coordinated care with other doctors or health care professionals.

Don’t Wait

Should you wait until you’re sick to seek out a family physician? No. Here are a few reasons why:

  • When you are sick, you won’t have the energy or clarity of thought to research the different family physicians available to you.
  • You might need to choose from a specific list of in-network doctors, depending on your insurance plan, so relying on friend/family referrals may not be economically smart.
  • You want to make sure you have a good rapport with your family physician. This may take several visits with different providers to find the right fit.          

Start with Westgate!

Westgate Family Physicians are a team of family doctors in Spartanburg, SC, that have provided faith-based family health care to people in our community since 1977. Our patients are like family; we consider it a true honor to build strong bonds with the people who trust us with their health. From annual visits to illness appointments, our team works hard to diagnose and treat as much as possible right in our office or refer patients to specialists for advanced care.

If you are looking for a family physician in Spartanburg, schedule an appointment with us today so you can meet our team and decide if we are the right fit for you. Please call (864) 574-0070 or click here to make an appointment.