Family medicine is the specialty that integrates the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences to provide continuing and comprehensive health care to individuals and families. The scope of family practice encompasses all ages, both sexes, each organ system and every disease entity. Family physicians provide diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses, health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, and patient education. They work in a variety of clinical settings and professional areas. In addition to direct patient care, family physicians pursue opportunities in academics, administration, research and public policy.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is the national association of family doctors and one of the largest national medical organizations. For more information about family practice, visit the Academy's Web site at www.aafp.org. Click on the student tab to access the Virtual Family Medicine Interest Group for an inside look at the specialty of family practice.