A general physician is often called specialist family physician. General physician specializes in family medicine and is qualified to provide treatment to prevent and cure a wide variety of physical and mental problems regardless of patient’s age and gender.
Specialist family physician is a specialist in a common person’s life. ENT specialist can only see ear nose and throat problems. Brain specialist knows only about the brain. Lung doctors treat lung problems. But a general physician provides a comprehensive full body care including screening for the chronic health conditions, looking out for the risk factors, provides general and specialized care to all the members of the family.
General physician is not only a simple bachelor in medicine and surgery (MBBS). He goes through 4 to 5 years post-graduate training in different parts of medicine like dermatology, woman health, child health, old people health, mental health and much more.
He works to reduce the burden of common health conditions on the specialists. GP reduces the financial burden on the health department. Let me give you an example. A person who is obese and has been unwell with tiredness and body pains went to a general physician. He was advised to have further testing of his diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure.He was found to be diabetic, and he was started on appropriate management.He was a smoker. He was advised to quit smoking. He had a poor lifestyle, and he was advised to exercise every day and to have a healthy diet. As a result, the risk of heart attack in this person reduces to a significant extent. It is an outcomeof comprehensive health management by a GP otherwise this patient would have landed in the emergency department with a heart attack.
Below is the list of few common chronic conditions managed by a GP.
- High blood pressure
- Risk factors for heart disease
- Risk factors for diabetes
- High cholesterol
- Sexually transmitted diseases
Below is the list of few common acute conditions managed by a GP.
- Asthma attacks
- Urinary tract infections
- Minor wounds
- Cold and flu
- Fever of unknown origin
- Minor broken bones
- Skin infections and rashes
- Muscle strains and sprains
Frequently asked questions FAQ’s
Who is a General or family physician?
He is a specialist in family medicine who provides care for all members of family including females, children and old people.
I already see a specialist for my medical condition, do I still need to see a GP?
Yes, it is very important to see a GP who can collaborate with your specialists for your health. He can make best management plan after consulting all of your specialists. For example, your heart specialist may not be aware of your other medical issues and medications. It is very important to have an established general physician who can look after all your medications, their side effects and their interactions.
What is the difference between a doctor and a GP?
GP is the doctor who specializes in family medicine whoundertake further training after MBBS to become a specialist.