The Family Doctor is Special Too

Our family doctors and nurse practitioners at Bluestem Health in Lincoln, Nebraska are certified and understand the role of the family doctor. They seek to provide high-quality care in a fast-paced, technology-driven medical setting. They offer preventive care, treatment, diagnosis, and offer referrals to specialists, when needed.

The role of the family doctor has changed considerably since the turn of the 20th Century. Prior to the 1900s the family doctor mostly lived and worked in small, rural communities, they treated patients from the womb to the tomb and performed every procedure in between. This came with benefits like the family doctor being a trusted healthcare professional and community member, but it also allowed for limiting experience and often lesser quality of care due to lack of resources, exposure, and education. This is not the case for the family doctor today.

Our family doctors and nurse practitioners at Bluestem Health in Lincoln, Nebraska are certified and understand the role of the family doctor. They seek to provide high-quality care in a fast-paced, technology-driven medical setting. They offer preventive care, treatment, diagnosis, and offer referrals to specialists, when needed.

THE FAMILY DOCTOR SHIFT

In an attempt to improve U.S. healthcare and keep up with European and Eastern medical practices, there was a major shift in the education of the family doctor:

  • Pre-medical requirements were established with an emphasis in science
  • Medical curriculum became standardized, also with a science focus
  • Full-time faculty were hired for teaching and research
  • Medical schools became connected to universities

THE FAMILY DOCTOR FALLING OUT

As a result, specialties began to not only emerge but began to dominate the profession, leaving the role of the family doctor to fall behind and out of focus. The American Medical Association (AMA) took over professional and academic control of specialization by proctoring American Board exams for doctors certifying in specialty fields. There was no specialty for family doctors early on.

As far back as 1966, The Millis, Folsom, and Willard Reports identified that change was needed. The American Public Health Association and the National Health Council report stated:

Every individual should have a personal physician who is the central point for integration and continuity of all medical services…Such physician will emphasize the practice of preventive medicine… His concern will be for the patient as a whole, and his relationship with the patient must be a continuity one.


The AMA Council on Medical Education determined that the American people wanted and needed large numbers of qualified family doctors, and by 1969, Family Practice became its own certifying specialty. It is a broad specialty. Through the 1990s the role of the family doctor began to flourish. The scope of the family doctor includes all ages, sexes, each organ system, and every disease.

In the U.S., medicine was becoming an upper-class dominated field with most doctors-in-training seeking specialty fields. Despite population growth, a shortage of care began to emerge and it was clear the family doctor was the missing piece.

WE NEED FAMILY DOCTORS

Technology, information access, and a very mobile society has resulted in a shift in the role of the family doctor still today. The struggles are many, but the need for family doctors remains. In fact, now we are finding that family doctors have several nurse practitioners and physician assistants who work together as a primary care team, filling the gap in the family doctor shortage. At Bluestem Health, family doctors continue to fill a vital role in the Lincoln, Nebraska community.

OUR MAIN CLINIC FAMILY DOCTORS

Bluestem Health’s main clinic in Lincoln, Nebraska offers several highly compassionate and qualified family doctors and nurse practitioners:

If you do not have a family doctor, or you are looking for a clinic with a broad range of services, please contact Bluestem Health’s main clinic in Lincoln, Nebraska at 402-476-1455 to make an appointment. Let our team of family doctors and nurse practitioners care for you.

Source: https://www.aafpfoundation.org/content/dam/foundation/documents/who-we-are/cfhm/FMImpactGutierrezScheid.pdf

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