National Geographic : 1959 Mar
Why every family should have a family doctor... EVERY family should select and become acquainted with a doctor before illness strikes. Yet, many families wait until sickness or emergency requires a hasty decision about the doctor they will call. A family doctor, usually a general practitioner or an internist, can care for about 85 percent of the illnesses your family is likely to have. Further, if you should need specialized care, the family doctor can arrange it. One way to select your doctor is through your local medical society or community hospital. They will give you the names of several physicians. You may choose one of them with assurance that you will be in good hands. Then, call the doctor and see him for a friendly talk about fees, night calls, the hospitals he's associated with, and whatever else is on your mind. Then ask yourself these questions: did you like him ... feel at ease with him ... would you trust him during those critical situations which illness often creates? These questions are important, for without mutual friendship and understanding a warm doctor-patient rela tionship can never exist. What are the advantages of having a regular doctor? For one thing, he will get to know you and your family inti mately-your "medical history," your response to certain drugs, your normal blood pressure, your emotional reac tion to illness, and other facts which may be very helpful whether your trouble is minor or serious. He can also give you the benefits of preventive medicine. For example, if you have young children, he will want to see them at intervals to check their growth and develop ment-and to keep their protection against communicable diseases up to date. For others in your family, he can be a health counselor. For instance, if you're bothered at times by seemingly trivial complaints-indigestion, headache, nervousness, or fatigue-you might hesitate to go to a doctor whom you do not know. But with a family doctor, you'd feel free to talk over any condition that upsets you. Select and become acquainted with a doctor now. Keep his name, address, telephone number and office hours posted in a spot known to everyone in your family. His continuing supervision can help your children grow up strong and well-and help you live a long and healthy life. : ";: -" , g sii-~-a i :~ :?.