Learn more about Family Medicine Specialists and how to choose the right one for you
A family medicine doctor specializes in the comprehensive prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care for a wide range of conditions. Family medicine is a broad specialty that focuses on your general, overall health rather than one type of disease or condition. Family medicine specialists often serve as a primary care doctor, providing preventive and therapeutic care services for the entire family through all stages of life.
Family medicine doctors treat a wide variety of conditions and often consult with other members of the patient’s medical team. A family doctor typically:
- Evaluates a patient’s medical history and teaches the patient about wellness and disease prevention
- Diagnoses and treats acute diseases and conditions including infections and injuries
- Screens, treats and monitors a range of chronic physical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, heart disease, and depression
- Orders and interprets laboratory and imaging tests and prescribes medications
- Performs minor surgical procedures and assists with major procedures
- Provides cancer screenings, such as skin and thyroid exams
- Performs reproductive health screenings including pelvic exams, Pap smears, breast exams, and sexually transmitted disease screenings
- Provides care, in some cases, for women during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and after delivery
- Provides family planning and contraceptive counseling including birth control prescriptions
Family medicine doctors may also be known by the following names: family physician, family practice doctor, family practitioner, family medicine physician, family medicine specialist, family doctor, primary care physician (pcp), and general practitioner.
There are 4360 specialists practicing Family Medicine in Virginia with an overall average rating of 4.0 stars. There are 238 hospitals in Virginia with affiliated Family Medicine specialists, including Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Chippenham Hospital and Centra Lynchburg General Hospital.