About Family Doctors / General Practitioners

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Family doctors, also known as General Practitioners and Family Practitioners, are typically the first point of contact when seeking health care and can provide a wide range of medical treatment and advice on illnesses from seasonal colds and flu to chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes.

Family doctors are ‘dedicated to treating the whole person,’ according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).  Services provided by family practitioners include everything from routine physical checkups and risk assessments as well as immunizations and screening tests.

Family doctors are trained, based on the symptoms and initial diagnosis of a patient, to identify ailments and refer them to specialists who can provide more advanced, targeted care for that specific illness or condition.

Due to the expansive training and knowledge they receive in a variety of areas of medicine, Family doctors also have the ability to provide help and advice in specialty areas such as heart disease and stroke, cancer, and obstetrics. They can seek further training and specialization in major medical areas including PediatricsInternal medicine, Psychiatry, Neurology, and Surgery.

Family doctors deliver care in a range of different environments from office and private practices to hospitals, emergency rooms, and even Nursing homes.

Because Family doctors treat patients all the way through from birth to old age, choosing the right doctor for yourself or your family is important in fostering an open and lasting partnership for the benefit of your health and your family. 


If you are in Canada and need a family doctor, we have compiled many resources that may help to connect you with a family doctor who is accepting new patients in your area.

Useful Resources


Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

College of Family Physicians of Canada

British Columbia






Newfoundland and Labrador

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island


Northwest Territories



United States of America

National Provider Identifier (NPI)

America Board of Family Medicine



Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners


New Zealand

Medical Council of New Zealand

Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners


United Kingdom

General Medical Council

Royal College of General Practitioners



Medical Council

Irish College of General Practitioners


South Africa

Health Professions Council Of South Africa

South African Academy of Family Physicians



National Medical Commission