medicine) is a medical specialty in which general
medical care, counseling, and problem solving is
provided to an individual or family, without regard to age
or as to whether the patient is male or female. Many
family practitioners have done a residency in family
medicine. A residency is a year or several years of
clinical training after one has completed medical school.
WHAT ELSE DOES A FAMILY PRACTITIONER DO?
Family practitioners can treat minor cuts and bruises, treat colds, and use stitches. Yet
they can also take care of more serious long-term medical problems such as heart
problems. They can also deliver babies and care for them afterwards. For more of the
health care areas covered in family practice, please see the entry for that term. Family
practitioners will refer a patient to a specialist if the problem the patient is experiencing is
beyond his/her expertise.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF MY FAMILY PRACTITIONER IS BOARD CERTIFIED?
Any family practitioner can apply to the American Board of Family Practice, to become
board certified. The family practitioner that is board certified has been agreed upon by a
board (group) of peers (other family practitioners) to meet the rigorous standards
necessary to practice family medicine, and has achieved the highest level of education
possible in this field.
"Where Medical Information is Easy to Understand"™
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FAMILY
PRACTITIONER AND A GENERAL PRACTITIONER?
Family practitioners generally have broader training than general
practitioners. Since general practitioners (also known as GPs) have
been replaced by family practitioners, the term general practitioner
is not used much anymore. Unlike family practice, training
school became limited and there was no way to become board
certified in general practice like there is in family practice (see
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FAMILY PRACTITIONER AND AN INTERNIST?
Internists (doctors who practice internal medicine) are experts in adult health and are specially trained to
deal with a wide range of adult health needs. Family practitioners are trained to deal with the health care
needs of adults and children. In this context, adults refer to people that are age 18 or above.
HOW MUCH EDUCATION DOES ONE NEED TO BECOME A FAMILY PRACTITIONER?
To become a family practitioner, one needs to go to medical school after college. Medical school generally
takes 4 years. After medical school, there is one year of internship and 2 years of specialized training
(known as a residency) in family medicine.
HOW MUCH MONEY DOES A FAMILY PRACTITIONER MAKE?
Estimates vary, but in general a family practitioner makes between $120,000 and $175,000 a year. The
lower salaries are made by beginning doctors whereas the higher salaries are made by doctors with more
WHAT ELSE IS A FAMILY PRACTITIONER KNOWN AS?
A family practitioner is also known as family practice physician. Family practitioner is sometimes
abbreviated as FP. Some people still refer to a family practitioner as a GP (general practitioner) even
though the two are different as described above.
WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THE TERM, PRACTITIONER?
Family practitioner comes from the Latin word "familia" meaning "household," and the Greek word
"praktikos" meaning "practice." Put the two words together and you have "family practitioner."