- Family medicine is the main primary care medical specialty in Canada. It focuses on the individual patient within their family and the community contexts.
- Family physicians deliver services across the entire spectrum of care, throughout a patient’s life. Family medicine specialization consists of a blend of biomedical, behavioural, and social sciences, while employing a diverse range of cognitive and procedural skills in practice.
- Family physicians deal with undifferentiated clinical problems presenting at an early stage.
- In addition to acute disorders, which are sometimes life-threatening, family physicians also regularly confront cases of chronic disease, emotional problems and transient illnesses.
- Family physicians deliver care across a wide spectrum of settings, including their offices, hospitals, long-term and other health care facilities and the patient’s home.
- Family physicians play an important role in health promotion and illness prevention, coordinating care with other specialties and health professionals, and advocating on behalf of their patients with respect to the care and services they need in all other parts of the health care system.
- Although all health professions provide valuable services to their patients and the health care system as a whole, family physicians fill a unique central leadership role not replicable by other professions.
- Allied health professionals cannot serve as substitutes for family physicians. Rather, the value lies in complementary use of different professionals to the full extent of their scopes.
To learn more, read the CFPC’s Family Medicine Professional Profile, a position statement that defines the discipline of family medicine, describes the scope of practice and training for family physicians, and highlights our philosophy of care.
In addition, the BCCFP’s Value of Family Medicine Infographic illustrates the unique role of BC’s family physicians.