WHAT IS…

… “FAMILY  MEDICINE?”

Family Medicine covers all areas of medical care, including:

* Obstetrics
* Pediatrics
* Emergency & Urgent Care
* Women’s Health
* Dermatology
* Orthopedics
* Internal Medicine
* Ears, Nose & Throat
* Health Education
* Preventative Care
* Sports Medicine


Family Medicine is based on the fact that people and their families are best served by having a single primary care physician who knows each member’s medical background and can coordinate all parts of their medical care.
Your family physician is able to take care of your entire family — from obstetrics & newborns  to  grandparents!

… FAMILY-CENTERED OBSTETRICS?

We provide obstetrical care including prenatal, delivery and post-partum care of the mother at Sentara Jefferson Hospital.  Our physician makes every effort to deliver his own patients. This is an important difference from other practices providing OB services.

… A NURSE PRACTITIONER

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are highly skilled health professionals licensed to practice in Virginia and certified by national accrediting boards. NPs are clinicians that blend clinical expertise in diagnosing and treating health conditions with an added emphasis on disease prevention and health management.  NPs bring a comprehensive perspective to health care. NPs provide some of the same care provided by physicians and maintain close working relationships with physicians.

… A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT

Physician Assistants (PA) are nationally certified and state-licensed medical professionals and practice in health care teams with physicians and other providers. They are formally trained to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses and provide treatment.

PA’s see patients of all ages. A PA has completed a master’s degree and training in the diagnosis and management of common medical conditions, including chronic illnesses. PA’s provide some of the same care provided by physicians and maintain close working relationships with physicians.

A PA’s duties include the following:

  • Collaborating with physicians and other health professionals as needed, including providing referrals.
  • Counseling and educating patients on health behaviors, self-care skills, and treatment options.
  • Diagnosing and treating acute illnesses, infections, and injuries.
  • Diagnosing, treating and monitoring chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure)
  • Obtaining medical histories and conducting physical examinations.
  • Ordering performing and interpreting diagnostic studies (e.g. lab tests, x-rays, EKGs).
  • Prescribing medications.
  • Prescribing physical therapy and other rehabilitation treatments.
  • Providing family planning services.
  • Providing well-child care, including screening and immunizations.
  • Health and wellness counseling.

PA’s provide high-quality, cost-effective individualized care that is comparable to the health care provided by physicians.

… WHAT IS A PREVENTIVE EXAM OR VISIT?

A preventive exam is a scheduled visit with your primary healthcare provider. It is focused on detecting and preventing health problems. The exam will include a medical history and a physical exam. The provider may also order blood tests, urine tests, and other diagnostic procedures. These exams may include, dependent upon age:

  • Blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and respiration checks
  • Weight and height
  • Breast exam
  • Pelvic exam and PAP smear
  • Prostate exam
  • Vision and hearing exam
  • Lab tests such as cholesterol, glucose
  • Education about health risks and a healthy lifestyle

Usually, these exams are completed and paid for by your insurance carrier annually.  Check with your insurance provider to understand their particular guidelines for payment. Infants younger than two years please note: during a preventive exam visit, your provider will focus on preventive care.  If you find at the time of your visit you need to address an illness that you are experiencing the provider will defer your preventive visit to another time so as to focus on your acute need.

People with certain diseases and conditions may also need more frequent exams. Some examples of these disorders include:

  • Coronary artery disease or other heart diseases
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels in the blood
  • A history of cancer
  • Infection
  • Injuries
  • Skin Conditions
  • Orthopedic issues

It is possible to schedule a preventative visit and a problem-based visit at the same time if this is more convenient for you.

… A GOOD SOURCE OF MEDICAL INFORMATION ON THE WEB?

There is a great deal of good medical information on the internet… and, unfortunately, a great deal of bad information, as well.

How can you tell the good from the bad without going to medical school?  Two online sources stand out. Medline plus and the Mayo Clinic Health Info Site.  Both sites tend to have non-biased information that is easy to understand.