n. A particular specialty in the field of medicine, one that deals with only general conditions, but of all persons.
n. medical practice that provides health care regardless of age or sex while placing emphasis on the family unit [syn: family practice]
Family medicine (FM), formerly family practice (FP), is a specialty devoted to comprehensive health care for people of all ages; the specialist is named a family physician or family doctor. In Europe the discipline is often referred to as general practice and a practitioner as a General Practice Doctor or GP; this name emphasises the holistic nature of this speciality, as well as its roots in the family. It is a division of primary care that provides continuing and comprehensive health care for the individual and family across all ages, genders, diseases, and parts of the body. It is based on knowledge of the patient in the context of the family and the community, emphasizing disease prevention and health promotion. According to the World Organization of Family Doctors (Wonca), the aim of family medicine is to provide personal, comprehensive, and continuing care for the individual in the context of the family and the community. The issues of values underlying this practice are usually known as primary care ethics.