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J Family Med Prim Care. 2018 Mar-Apr;7(2):303-308. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_257_17.

Principles of family medicine practice: Lessons gleaned over a lifetime in practice.

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Family Physician and Mentor, Academy of Family Physicians of India (Karnataka Chapter), Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
PCMH Restore Health Center, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.


The term "principles" refers to a set of defining attributes and values that lie at the heart of a discipline. These are largely discovered by reflection and practice rather than learned by formal instruction. This article is written as a reflective dialogue between two teachers of family medicine, one who has been practicing for nearly five decades and another with training in contemporary academic family medicine, using a selection of case stories drawn from the practice of the first author. Several principles of family medicine such as "broad-based specialty"; "person and family orientation"; "continuity of care"; "community based care"; "building a trusting relationship"; "counseling"; and "an effective steward of resources" are highlighted. It is hoped that the above discussion will enable students and practitioners of family medicine to be more effective in delivering primary care and appreciate the privilege they have of serving as family physicians in the community.


Family medicine; India; principles of family medicine

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