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Family Practice vs. Family Medicine - what's in a name

Discussion in 'Family Medicine' started by Adcadet, Sep 30, 2004.

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  1. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    can somebody clue me in to the issues regarding the name change from "Family Practice" to "Family Medicine"? Why bother?
  2. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler

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    I think family medicine is the official name for it now. Most people still call it family practice but the "medicine" part was included to set FPs (FMs?) apart from PA, NPs etc.

    That's the explanation I read somewhere anyway.
  3. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc2B2015

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    also to set it apart from general practice(gp's have only an internship then open up shop).
  4. edfig99

    edfig99

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    there's a LOT of history behind the FP and FM names, that goes back about 30 or 40 years.

    The original specialty was FP, that grew out of generalist traditions. Unlike General Practitioners, FP was a full specialty leading to certification, making it separate then being a GP.

    However, FP encompassed much more than clinical care, but also behavioral sciences, research, teaching etc, so the old tradition was that FP referred to the clinical care, and FM referred to the academic realms of the discipline.

    Over the last few years however, amidst name confusion with other 'providers' as referenced above, and in addition to wanting to stake a claim to the bigger academic pie, there has been movement from within to get the specialty renamed to family medicine. some of this has been by medical students and residents in the AAFP, as well as the "grown up" members. FPs don't like the word "Practitioner" in their title, and would rather be referred to as "physicians".

    the name of the specialty hasn't been officially changed.
    While the AAFP - the American Academy of Family Physicians had a congress of delegates meeting where the decision was made to have the AAFP change it's name to AAFM - the name hasn't changed (http://www.aafp.org/x24720.xml)

    the med student arm was able to change the name of their conference to the National Congress of Family Medicine Residents and Students

    the ABFP - American Board of Family Practice is a separate entity and they also have not made a name change.

    there's all sorts of history and pride and connotations and arguments for and against....just lotsa drama.

    my experience has been that programs with phenomenal clinical care refer to themselves as FP and those with outstanding academic efforts refer themselves as FM.

    hth,
    ed
  5. flynnt

    flynnt Member

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    What exactly is the training for a GP? Is it an internship only trained physician?
  6. dr.smurf

    dr.smurf Senior Member

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    yes, gp's were the docs who did a one-year internship immediately after med school and went out and started practicing right away. the internship was comparable to the first year of an fp residency or a transitional year where you do a little bit of everything.

    with technology and medical advancement this fell out of practice and is pretty uncommon these days but still technically acceptable in some states that only require a post grad year of training. but, most states require more these days. not to mention you must take and pass step 3 these days for a license.

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