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 emphasizes the holistic nature of this specialty, 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, 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.
Unlike other specialties that are limited to a particular organ or disease, family medicine integrates care for patients of all genders and every age, and advocates for the patient in a complex health care system.
Because of their extensive training, family physicians are the only specialists qualified to treat most ailments and provide comprehensive health care for people of all ages– from newborns to seniors.