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How Family Doctors Improve Community Health


Did you know that family doctors contribute to the health of our communities?

We often think of family doctors in their office practices where we see them most routinely. After all, that’s where we see them for a booked appointment when we have a non-urgent health issue.

The fact is, in many Nova Scotian communities family doctors provide vital health-care services to the broader community.

Family doctors deliver care where it’s needed by visiting patients in their home or at a care facility like a nursing home. You’ll find family doctors on the front lines of care delivering babies and providing care to those most critically ill or injured in emergency departments.

Their years of medical education and training allow family doctors to provide care in many different ways.

According to a 2012 survey of family doctors conducted by Corporate Research Associates, here are some of the ways family doctors are contributing to the health of our communities. 

Many Nova Scotian family doctors make home visits to care for patients who aren’t able to get to an office visit.

Family physicians provide on-call services to regional and tertiary hospitals for after-hours emergency calls.

Patients admitted to hospital are monitored by family doctors determine treatment plans and monitor the health of hospital patients so they can recover and return home quickly.

Family doctors take part in the emergency department rotation, keeping emergency departments open across the province. Doctors in emergency departments help those people who are most critically ill and in need of care.

Patients facing life-threatening illness get help to relieve their symptoms and pain.

Seniors receive care in place, rather than travelling to a doctor’s office.

In addition to your surgeon, you’ll find family doctors assisting in the operating room.

Not only do family doctors care for expectant moms to monitor the health of mom and babe, they also help deliver babies. Unless you’re having a complicated birth, the physician who will support expectant mothers to deliver their new bundle of joy at many regional hospitals is a family doctor.

Patients receive care through walk-in clinics, which helps reduce the pressure on hospital emergency departments.

More often than not, these additional services are offered over and above their own family practice.


Share a story about how your family doctor goes above and beyond to provide care for your community.