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In an age where everything is reviewable, from types of straws to types of pens, potentially one of the most important decisions to be made in a person’s life is choosing their doctor. Do you visit a doctor as aches, pains, and sickness comes along, and will anyone do? Or do you prefer a doctor already familiar with you most of your life? A doctor is a doctor… right?

Both types of doctors have equivalent requirements, it is similar to the “private or public” debate that goes on in various sectors except that in the medical sphere the family practice doctor is the one who will see you for your whole life and be more familiar with your situation, essentially being a familiar face you can see every so often, with a but of special training in-between. General practice doctors exist to diagnose and move you along to a specialist in a more streamlined fashion.

Family practice doctors are always more familiar with their patients, therefore they can structure preventative plans in order to make sure nothing happens in the future. After all, they will be the one you are seeing if anything does go wrong. To that point, one benefit is being able to be familiar with that one doctor who will always be checking up on you and being familiar with your case. Chronic illness, geriatric care, pediatric care will all benefit from having this one doctor present and familiar with you or your child.

General doctors exist more to diagnose whatever the set of problems may be any pass you on to a specialist of your choosing. The doctor does not exist as the cornerstone of your medical life, but rather works in referrals so that you may be taken care of by someone more familiar with your conditions.

In the end it comes down to familiarity, convenience, or illness. Someone may not want a life-long relationship with a doctor because that would mean they would be sick all the time, or perhaps are uncomfortable by having a family doctor while preferring specialists. They may want speed in dealing with these issues and getting the best advice as fast as possible. On the flip side, perhaps the homegrown approach is the best one for some, as they know there will always be a familiar face there ready to go in case there is any trouble.