What is family medicine?
Dr. Robert Garner explains what family medicine is and what family medicine providers can do for patients.
What types of people do you see?
We are truly womb to tomb. If you’re alive, we take care of you. Little kids, elderly folks who are chronically ill, certainly a lot of adult care, but a lot of family care. Typically when a patient comes in, they’re there with a family member, and it’s the family member who usually has more questions or wants to know more information or may really be sort of the driving force in the family. But it’s their quieter family member who’s the patient. We take care of them, but we have to educate the family as well. Our job as physicians, typically primary care specifically, is to educate our patients on how to make better choices for themselves while we’re looking for those kind of critical illnesses that we may need to step in and intervene. A lot of it’s education, and a lot of it’s awareness of illness.
Are all family medicine providers the same?
Family medicine is kind of whatever you want it to be. Interestingly enough, a lot of people think we’re all the same. Every family practitioner I know is very different. We all have different interests, but it’s kind of the Bachelor of Arts of Medicine. You can do as much of what you want and as little as what you don’t.