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Health & Wellness

What is Family Medicine?

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Whether you’ve just moved to a new area or are searching for a new primary care provider, knowing where to start is often the most confusing step in your health journey.

WJHL video interview - Dr. Cynthia PartainWJHL Interview: Dr. Cynthia Partain

Sometimes choosing a provider seems straightforward: women often see a gynecologist and patients with kidney disease see a nephrologist. However, when you need a primary care provider to help you manage your care from regular wellness checks to something unexpected, where do you go? What kind of provider do you need for you and your family?

I am a Family Medicine physician, a type of primary care provider that can provide care for you and your whole family – from infants to geriatrics and everything in between. Providers who work in Family Medicine are trained to treat nearly every ailment for people of all ages.

I have been treating patients of all ages since 1992. I even have some multi-generational families that have what I call “grand patients” under my care. As a Family Medicine provider, I sometimes take on the role of pediatrician, gynecologist or even chronic care specialist.

The most important part of my job is building relationships with my patients, so that I can be there for them throughout their unique health journey.

Family Medicine or Internal Medicine

When searching for a new provider, it can be hard to understand what type of primary care provider is the best fit for your health needs. There are lots of options, between Family Medicine providers and someone who works in Internal Medicine. The difference between Internal Medicine and Family Medicine is that internists most often work only with adults while Family Medicine providers care for the entire family.

The most important part of my job is building relationships with my patients, so that I can be there for them throughout their unique health journey.Dr. Cynthia Partain

Internal Medicine providers deal with the diagnosis and treatment of adult diseases with a focus on prevention.

If you’re looking for a provider who can care for your whole family (all ages), then a relationship with a Family Medicine provider may be an option. Your HMG Family Medicine provider is qualified to treat all ages and stages of life.

Both Internal Medicine and Family Medicine providers can treat a variety of illnesses. Both can work with you on preventative screenings, and partner with you to keep you well and on the path to good health.

It’s easy to navigate life’s big and small moments when you know you have a trusted health partner by your side. No matter which you choose, it’s important you and your family have a primary care provider in your corner to help you age healthfully along the journey of life.

What to Expect From Your Family Medicine Provider

Your first visit with your new Family Medicine provider will likely be longer than your routine visits that follow. Even if you’re just in the office for a wellness check, we want to take some time to get to know you, your hobbies, your job, your family history and what you like to do.

Dr. Partain and patient in the hall

The relationship that I have with each one of my patients is my favorite part of Family Medicine. For example, because not every medical diagnosis impacts my patients the same, I like getting to know my patients personally so I can understand how this condition might impact their life. If I treat their entire family, then I also know the family dynamics that we can navigate together. This helps me be there for them every step of the way.

As Family Medicine providers, we can also provide comprehensive care for patients of all genders, ages, those with different diseases, and every part of the body. We can diagnose acute and chronic illnesses, and we use wellness visits to help educate our patients about important healthy habits like:

  • Stress management
  • Daily physical activity
  • Nutrition
  • Weight management
  • Keeping a yearly preventative screening schedule
  • Changes in your lifestyle or daily routine

As a Family Medicine provider, it’s so important that I maintain a strong relationship with my patients; we are your first point of contact for any health issues you may have, including physical, mental or emotional needs. I love all of my patients and as much as they say I give to them, they give me so much more in return. It is truly rewarding, and I feel honored to be their health partner for life.

Finding Your New Family Medicine Provider

Whether you’re searching for a new family care provider for yourself or the whole family, these easy steps will help you break down the process and choose a provider that is right for you.

1. Ask: Talk to your neighbors, your community, your friends, and your coworkers first to find out which providers they see and who they trust.

2. List: Make a list of the top priorities you want to find in a new provider. Is location important? Do you prefer a male or female provider? How easy is it to contact this provider?

3. Connect: Ensure that your top picks have an easy-to-access patient portal like HMG’s FollowMyHealth portal. This will drastically improve the level of engagement in your health and with your new provider.

4. Budget: Cost is always a factor in health management, as well. Find a provider within your insurance coverage which offers a variety of specialties and services that are high-quality and low-cost.

Dr. Partain and patient during exam

When you know the background and the value of your new primary care provider, a trusted relationship is easy to form. Someone who takes the time to know you and your whole family can make the difference in your well-being. To schedule an appointment with an HMG primary care provider, visit the website to find a care team nearest you, or call 1-877-HMG-1213.

Dr. Cynthia Partain has been a Family Medicine physician serving the community since 1992 and her practice can be found in Johnson City. She is board certified and received her doctorate at University of Alabama.