What is Family medicine history what studies and methodology

Family medicine is the specialty that focuses on the attention and care of all family members. It is a discipline that does not focus only on individual diagnoses, but studies people’s environment and customs in order to identify the source of discomfort or illness.

This specialty is characterized by the examination of the body as a whole, where doctors evaluate the symptoms that children and adults present and consider that the conditions, physical or internal, affect each member of the family. The objective of this field of analysis is to understand the conditions in the biopsychosocial context.

Consequently, it can be said that family medicine derives from several scientific areas, such as traumatology, radiography and neurology; However, it also has the influence of shamanism and Socratism.

For this reason, the discipline has a particular identity, as its method of analysis sympathizes with the empirical and the spiritual, whose objective is to incorporate the different cults and impartial hypotheses to offer greater security to the patient and his family.

In this sense, the function of family medicine is to create therapies and preventive theories that promote the development and well-being of the patient. In addition, it creates a life cycle for people around the affected individual to contribute to their recovery or assimilate their death.

History of Family medicine

During the first decades of the 20th century, clinical care was difficult for men for two reasons; the first was because of the cost of consultations and treatments, while the second was the lack of resources in popular cities and areas.

Therefore, a group of scientists, including Salvador Minuchin (1921-2017) and Ian McWhinney (1926-2012), decided to reinterpret the meaning of medicine and said that health should not be limited or specialized in a single field.

In this way, a new project emerged, which they called family medicine. From the beginning, this specialty was aimed at studying and caring for people. Doctors did not emphasize the disease, but the birth of the disease.

That is, the specialists visited their patients’ homes to find out how they lived; also studied how habits could contribute to the formation and progression of discomfort.

From this perspective, derived the principle of discipline that is still in force. Likewise, the ideal that family medicine expounds ensures that it is not convenient to prescribe drugs or classify the condition without knowing the traditions and family members of the affected people. Thanks to this manifestation, the specialty was appreciated as a scientific subject.

scientific branch

In 1978, following the speech by the doctors of Alma Alta, family medicine was identified as a modern specialization or a scientific and international subject that promoted primary health care and professed equality for all inhabitants.

Since its incorporation into the area of ​​general medicine, this academic branch has favored research on minor deviations; He also found a way to stop the evolution of congenital conditions.

What does family medicine study? (study object)

The role of family medicine is to examine the inconveniences or discomforts that threaten the human being. It not only studies diseases that are hereditary or in their phases, but also the way in which they cause suffering.

In addition, this discipline specializes in psychological distress or discomfort caused by social stress, such as headaches. Other aspects in which this discipline is interested are:

– The growth of diseases that destroy people’s bodies. Therefore, seek to know why it affects only one member of the family.

– Investigate the problems of the community where the patient lives and try to understand the development of the individual in his environment.

– Work with the needs presented by the family circles and the expectations they have about care and health.

Methodology of Family medicine

Family medicine is an integral discipline because it includes approaches to nosology, sociology and other cultural aspects. It is a specialty that seeks the bond between doctor, patient and family. Therefore, as a scientific subject, it requires a methodology.

Its study method consists of qualitative and quantitative analysis and field work; however, family medicine does not study reality in a fragmented way, but as a unit. When developing the methodological framework, clinicians rely on the following elements:


Unlike other branches of medicine, the family values ​​and examines emotions as biological processes that cannot be separated from the pain caused by discomfort or illness.


This aspect states that patients and family members must actively participate in recovery or treatment. Likewise, living conditions are essential because they can generate solutions or inconveniences.

main concepts

Family medicine is the specialty that integrates clinical, biological and behavioral sciences. Physicians who practice this discipline have the ability to work with every organ and the immune system.

Over the years, this scientific and academic branch has linked its biomedical paradigm to humanistic pillars, such as psychology. The aim is to guide the family circle and guide the individual to learn to connect their mind with their body and environment.

Currently, this specialization has great relevance in developed countries, but not in underdeveloped countries due to the lack of political and economic organization. The two fundamental concepts of family medicine will be shown below:

Primary attention

It is the basis of discipline. It represents the first contact with the patient who, even without knowing what he is suffering, places his trust in the doctor to coordinate his well-being.

Sequential diagnosis

It is the ability of patients to wait for a specific report about their health. Before making any diagnosis, family specialists observe the evolution of discomfort and how the person relates their illness to their daily environment.

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