What is a Family Physician?


Family physicians complete extensive training beyond medical school in order to be able to provide the best possible patient care, including a three-year residency; in-depth training across a human lifespan from birth to death; and potential additional fellowships and qualifications in concentrations like adolescent medicine, emergency medicine, faculty development, and more.

Family medicine residents participate in integrated inpatient and outpatient learning and receive training in six major medical areas — pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, psychiatry and neurology, surgery, and community medicine.


Family physicians provide the majority of care for America’s underserved rural and urban populations. In addition to diagnosing and treating illness, they also provide preventive care, including routine checkups, health-risk assessments, immunization and screening tests, and personalized counseling on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Family physicians also manage chronic illness, often coordinating care provided by other subspecialists. From heart disease, stroke and hypertension, to diabetes, cancer, and asthma, family physicians provide ongoing, personal care for the nation’s most serious health problems.


82% routinely perform procedures
48% treat patients in a hospital setting
31% deliver emergency care
74% care for infants and children
83% have hospital privileges
18% provide OB care


Family planning and early pregnancy evaluation and management
Musculoskeletal injections
Skin procedures
Suturing lacerations
Ultrasound imaging