Family Medicine Review

By SCMA On 16/11/2017  

The specialty of family medicine is an elaborative practice on lasting, caring relationships with patients and their families. We review the common terminologies in Family Medicine and define their usage.

Defining the Specialty

The specialty of family medicine is an elaborative practice on lasting, caring relationships with patients and their families. Family physicians integrate the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences to provide continuous and comprehensive health care services to patients with close association with their therapeutic needs from time to time. The scope of family medicine encompasses all ages, sexes, each organ system, and every disease entity.

Family Medicine Review

Values in Family Medicine

From stating the obvious to the oblivious, family medicine practice clears the air on multiple facets bringing the best in therapeutic care to their patients. Family medicine is a three-dimensional specialty, incorporating (1) knowledge, (2) skill and (3) process. At the center of the process, the element is the patient-physician relationship with the patient viewed in the context of the family. It is the extent to which this relationship is valued, developed, nurtured and maintained that distinguishes family medicine from all other specialties.

Primary Care Defined

The Institute of Medicine defines primary care as "the provision of integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community." According to a 2008 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), research shows that "the nation's over-reliance on specialty care services, at the expense of primary care, leads to a health care system that is less efficient." The GAO also acknowledges that there is research showing that "preventive care, care coordination for the chronically ill, and continuity of care - all hallmarks of primary care medicine - can achieve better health outcomes and cost savings."

Simply put, primary care is the backbone of the healthcare system. Utilizing primary care physicians puts an emphasis on the physician-patient relationship by shifting the focus from physician-centered care to patient-centered care.

Here are a few common terminologies in Family Medicine

Ablation - Removal of material from the surface of the body through some erosive process
Acidosis - Metabolic (kidneys are not removing enough acid from the body) or respiratory (lungs unable to remove all of the CO2)
Acute vs. Chronic vs. Transient - Occurring suddenly vs. long-term vs. lasting for a short time
Adenopathy - Any disease or enlargement involving glandular tissues
Affect - The external expression of emotion attached to ideas or mental representations
Analgesic - painkiller drug
Aneurysm - abnormal widening or ballooning of a portion of an artery due to the weakness in the wall of the blood vessel
Atrioventricular - Relating to the atrial and ventricular chambers of the heart or the connection or coordination between them
Atypical chest pain - Pain in the chest that has been ruled out as cardiac in origin
Auscultation - The act of listening to sounds arising from organs with the help of stethoscope
Autoimmune - Failure of an organism in recognizing its own constituent party as itself, thus lead to an immune response against itself
Bell's Palsy - Disorder of the nerve that controls the movement of the muscles in the face
Cachexia - General physical wasting and malnutrition usually associated with chronic disease
Cerebral - Relating to the cerebrum of the brain
Cerebrovascular Accident - stroke
Diaphoresis - Excessive or profuse sweating or perspiration
Diastole - The passive rhythmical expansion or dilation of the cavities of the heart during which they fill with blood
DTR - deep tendon reflex
Dysuria - Pain with urination
Cellulitis - infection of the skin characterized by erythema, warmth, tenderness
Ecchymosis - hemorrhagic discoloration of the skin; bruise
Edema - swelling of body tissues due to an excess accumulation of fluid
Edentulous - Toothless
Ejection fraction - Volumetric fraction of blood pumped out of the left or right ventricle with each beat (percentage based)
Emesis - Vomiting
Erythema - Redness of the skin caused by capillary congestion, usually caused by a skin rash or infection
Etiology - causation or origin
Flatus - Gas generated in the stomach or bowels; flatus expelled through the anus
Guarding - Area on patient so tender patient is "guarding" area with hands
Hemoptysis - Coughing up blood
Infectious - Likely to be transmitted to people, organisms, through the environment
Irregularly irregular rhythm - No consistent pattern to the heart rhythm; usually describes atrial fibrillation
Ischemia - Restriction of blood supply to tissues
Jugular venous pressure/distension - Pressure of the venous system via visualization of the internal jugular vein
Kyphosis - Exaggerated outward curvature of the thoracic region of the spine resulting in a rounded upper back
Malaise - Generalized weakness or discomfort
Micturition - Urination
Murmur - Abnormal heart sound.
Myo-/Endo-/Epi – prefix for layers of skin and organs eg. Epidermis ,Epicardium ,Endocardium
Nystagmus - Involuntary rapid eye movements (horizontal or vertical)
Organomegaly - Abnormal enlargement of an organ
Pallor - Pale skin
Palpation - Physical examination by pressure of hands or fingers to the surface of the body
Percussion - Tapping of the surface of the body to learn the condition of parts beneath the resulting sound
Prophylactic - Preventative
Rales - clicking, rattling, or crackling noises heard in the lungs on auscultation
Rebound - pain when releasing hand from abdominal palpation
Sclerosis - hardening of tissue
Somnolent - sleepy, drowsy
Systole - the contraction of the heart by which blood is forced onward and circulation kept up
Thyromegaly - enlarged thyroid
Transient ischemic attack - when blood flow to a part of the brain stops for a brief period of time; person will have stroke-like symptoms for up to 24 hours
Tremulous - affected by trembling or tremors
Vascular - related to blood vessels

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