In the beginning, there was the general practitioner. By virtue of training, and later by exclusion from other specialties or geographic isolation, the general practitioner became the prototype of the present day family physician. The general practitioner treated individuals and family members of all age groups, without regard to sex, disease process, or organ system, and used skills also attributed to surgeons, obstetricians, pediatricians, and internal medicine specialists. The care provided by the general practitioner to the individual was personal, and often caring; it was continuous and comprehensive. However, it was most often directed toward acute and chronic illness and medical crises. Medical care was dispensed primarily in the office, but also occasionally in the home or hospital. Due to the nonselective nature of his practice, the general practitioner dealt with different members of the household and it was not unusual for a general practitioner to have delivered and cared for several generations of the same family.
KeywordsGeneral Practitioner Genetic Counseling Anorexia Nervosa Family Physician Family Therapy
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