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Cradle to grave family medicine?

25 March

The nature of family medicine residency training is to provide family doctors with all of the tools they may need to provide medical care “cradle to grave”. This therefore includes prenatal care, obstetrics (yes, I delivered many babies during my training at Case Western in Cleveland),neonatal intensive care, pediatrics including both outpatient and in hospital, adolescent medicine, internal medicine and internal medicine subspecialties, gynecology, emergency medicine, surgery and many surgical subspecialties, intensive care, geriatrics, psychiatry, and hospice (and that is a partial list!).

Depending on where you practice, your interests and abilities, a physician’s practice evolves and narrows in some respects, and grows deeper in others. For example, I no longer do prenatal care, nor deliver babies. Several years ago I decided that I would limit my practice to outpatient medicine. However, in many ways most of the areas I trained remain core parts of what I do. Of course I don’t go to the “operating room” but there are a number of minor surgical procedures (mostly dermatologic) that I continue to do, and orthopedic procedures (like joint injections) are a particular area of interest for me. Both Denise and I offer “women’s health” including routine pelvic and breast examinations. No, we aren’t an “emergency room”, but we’re certainly a good first stop for “urgent care”.

In this time of specialization and fragmentation in medicine and in so many areas of life, we do aspire to be worthy of the term “medical home” where many of your medical needs can be met. When you need help we can’t provide, we’ll guide you to someone or someplace that can, and welcome you back when you return.