Big Island Family Medicine provides comprehensive medical care for the whole family, as well as cosmetic treatments such as hair removal, tattoo removal, and acne treatment. This FAQ provides the answers to common questions about family medicine.

What is Family Medicine?

Family medicine is a branch of medicine that is devoted to providing healthcare to patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly. Family medicine physicians undergo training in five major areas: internal medicine, community medicine, surgery, gynecology, and psychiatry. They can also choose to specialize in other areas such as geriatrics, emergency medicine, orthopedics, and more.

When a person has a medical issue, the first doctor they see is often a primary care physician or a family medicine practitioner. Visits to family physicians make up about one quarter of all office visits in the US. Family physicians also provide the majority of care for rural and underserved populations.

What Conditions Does a Family Medicine Physician Treat?

Family physicians treat a broad range of illnesses and medical issues. They are trained to handle all sorts of everyday medical problems such as:

  • Allergies
  • Cold and flu
  • Sprains and broken bones
  • Headaches and migraines

They also provide care for more serious conditions such as bronchitis, Alzheimer’s, asthma, arthritis, mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, incontinence, sleep apnea, and more. Whatever your issue, visiting a family physician is a good first step.

What if I have a More Serious Medical Issue?

If you and your family physician discover that you have a more serious issue, such as cancer or heart disease, your physician can help refer you to a specialist who can give you more specific treatment. Though family physicians are trained to handle a broad spectrum of medical issues, no one person can know everything about every medical condition.

Still, even though you may receive care from a specialist, it’s a good idea to keep seeing your family physician, since they are often most familiar with your health. With regular visits, you can establish a strong, trusting relationship with your family physician, who can sometimes catch health problems early on simply because they know you better.