A family practitioner takes care of patients of all ages. They care for adults and children, as well as the elderly. They will use their knowledge as a medical professional to diagnosis and treat a wide array of medical problems. If a medical problem is outside the range of practice of a family practitioner, they will then refer the patient to an appropriate specialist.
Family practitioners also participate in well-care visits with their patients. These are visits that the patient attends despite being in good health. For children, these visits consist of monitoring their growth and developmental milestones. For adults, the doctor will examine their weight to make sure it is at a healthy level, and may perform routine yearly tests - such as cholesterol tests and blood pressure readings - based on a person's age and other factors. Plus, the doctor will administer vaccines to those who need them. A family practitioner is usually the first doctor that someone will call when they are experiencing an illness or health problem.
Some family practitioners are even able to oversee a pregnancy and help a woman give birth to a child. These doctors may even be able to supervise a newborn's medical care. Family practitioners are able to participate in almost every aspect of the medical profession when caring for a patient or a family.