National Geographic : 1957 Mar
"The doctor's coming right away!" In an hour of urgent need, you may have had the feeling of relief and reassurance that comes when you know your family doctor will soon step through your doorway. Then you are most aware of how much it means to have a family doctor. Of course, any physician in your community would respond to an emergency call. It is not quite the same, however, as having your own doctor who has known you and your family through the years. When he comes, you rely on him not only as a physician, but also as a friend. This warm relationship can be very important ... as important, in a way, as the doctor's knowledge of medi cine. This is because the family physician, in treating a patient, considers not only the current medical phases of the case, but also the patient's personal medical back ground. Furthermore, a doctor who has year-to-year con tact with you can help ease many worries which illness often magnifies. Whether your doctor is called for a serious emergency or a minor illness, he brings to you the latest develop ments of medical science. These include new methods of diagnosis, new drugs and treatments for restoring health or controlling many diseases. He also brings to you his own broad knowledge of medicine gained through years of study in schools, hospitals and clinics. There are other equally good reasons for having a family doctor. When you go to him for periodic health check-ups, he can often detect trouble early and take appropriate action promptly. Moreover, by consulting your doctor periodically, you get his advice about how to help keep in good physical condition ... with proper diet and sensible habits of work, sleep and relaxation. Your friend, the family doctor, is the first to know when hospital care is needed . .. and when a specialist should be called to advise and assist him in giving you the latest specialized treatment necessary in your case. Specialists, because of their detailed knowledge and experience in diagnosing and treating diseases falling within their particular field, are important allies of the family doctor. Your family doctor will welcome an invitation to be come a "part of your family circle." One of the most practical steps, therefore, that you can take for future health and happiness is to consult your family doctor now ... and keep in touch with him over the years.