Family Practice - Traditional Western Medicine
Western medicine often involves either medications or surgery. These are powerful interventions, but also have powerful side effects and should often be a last resort rather than a first step.
Western medicine is fragmenting into specialties. Sometimes, the specialists do not communicate among themselves, and may prescribe treatments that conflict, to the detriment of the patient.
Family practice is a
specialty which attempts to provide high quality medical
care by looking at the patient as a member of a family and
of a community, and considering his or her medical treatment
as a whole. This can include referring to a specialist, but
the family doctor should stay informed of all the patients
treatments, particularly chronic treatments.