Family physicians demonstrate competence in the patient-centred clinical method; they integrate a sensitive, skillful, & appropriate search for disease. They demonstrate an understanding of patients’ experience of illness (particularly their ideas, feelings, & expectations) & of the impact of illness on patients’ lives.
Family physicians use their understanding of human development & family & other social systems to develop a comprehensive approach to the management of disease & illness in patients & their families.
Family physicians are also adept at working with patients to reach common ground on the definition of problems, goals of treatment, & roles of physician & patient in management. They are skilled at providing information to patients in a manner that respects their autonomy & empowers them to “take charge” of their own health care & make decisions in their best interests.
Family physicians have an expert knowledge of the wide range of common problems of patients in the community, & of less common, but life threatening & treatable emergencies in patients in all age groups. Their approach to family medicine and health care is based on the best scientific evidence available.