Family physicians are essential to the health of the general public, providing comprehensive care to individuals within their communities and building positive relationships with those they treat. The role of a family physician is to be an advocate for public health and provide quality, integrated care to individuals and their families; specializing in everything from general health care/routine check-ups, immunizations, ophthalmology, obstetrics, family planning, mental/behavioural health, and even minor surgical procedures. Physicians like Dr. Ali Ghahary make a commitment to their patients’ well-being by providing continuing care and establishing an exemplary rapport with individuals under their care, as well as with fellow health care providers.
As of January 2016, the number of active physicians in Canada was an estimated 80,544, with 52% being family physicians and 40% being specialists.
When dealing with illness, it is important for a family physician to exhibit a compassionate, sensitive and empathetic attitude towards the patients’ feelings and the impact that feeling or being ill may have on their everyday lives. A family physician will work with a patient to reach common ground in finding an appropriate treatment plan by using their own knowledge of family medicine in addition to utilizing the best scientific evidence available, as well as providing patients with continued health care management moving forward.
The main objective of a family physician is to help individuals remain healthy by providing patients with health care and treatment plans that are individualized to each unique person. This is done, in part, by asking a patient questions about their current lifestyle (including any drug use, alcohol use, and physical activity), questions about their previous health history, as well as finding out about any history of family illness such as certain diseases or cancer. By physicians finding out this extensive but relevant information, they are able to provide the general public with better overall outcomes of their health as well as significantly reduce disease and death rates. A family physician will always respect the privacy of their patient, utilizing the promise of doctor-patient confidentiality.
To stay up-to-date on current health care and medicine, family physicians will partake in continuing medical education by attending conferences and seminars regularly.