Family medicine

General practice is one of Germany's 32 specialist areas of medicine. In English-speaking countries general practitioners are referred to as General Practitioners (GP). The training routes and times differ from country to country.


December 31, 2004, there were approximately 40,000 specialists in general medicine in the Federal Republic of Germany. In addition, also be performed by the physicians working internists and emergency departments of hospitals General medical tasks. The working in this sector Practical doctors still out in the Licensing Regulations as " Practical and obstetricians ," gradually die out.


The working range of general medical practice involves the primary care of patients with physical and mental health disorders in the acute and long-term care as well as significant areas of prevention (prevention ) and rehabilitation. General practitioners specialize in advising the first medical contact for all health problems.

One of the tasks of general medicine is the identification of avoidable dangerous curves and those of the relevant specialist medical treatment assign. Another focus is the treatment of the chronically ill, especially the care of patients with hypertension and diabetes. For the family medicine with often crisis-ridden family histories and the resulting psycho-social conflicts of the family physician is often the first point of contact.

The legislature has the statutory health insurance an obligation to offer their policyholders a GP tariff. Inter alia undertake the insured to consult the doctor before a visit to a specialist and consult a specialist only with referral slip.

Of Fees

Meanwhile, the tariff, and the total supply is divided into a primary care and specialty care area. The previously existing possibility that the Doctor was able to provide all services and bill, was eliminated by the fee structure. This corresponds not yet complete the legal requirements. Actually has to be the budget that are inevitable in a limited amount of money to be divided by a yet to be defined key. Understandably, both groups want as large a share, or a form of compensation if, as expected, the number of specialists is increasing.


GP occur with the claim to consider the physical, psychological, social and ecological aspects of the patient. However, cost pressures and thus high throughput times, as well as a more somatically oriented education reduce the possibility sufficient to implement this claim.

Working principles

The working principles of general medicine are stable long-term patient - physician relationship and the already recognizable from the social environment of his medical history. Among the bases of work also includes the handling of the to place different from location epidemiological composition of the patients practice. The GP should consider this in his medical decisions.

Common Reasons for Counselling

The 20 most common consultation events in general practice are:

  • Uncharacteristic fever
  • Arterial hypertension
  • Myalgia
  • Low back pain
  • Combined Luftwegkatarrh
  • Arthropathy, Periarthropathy
  • Afebrile general reaction
  • Cough
  • Tonsillitis acuta (angina )
  • Diabetes mellitus (type 1, type 2)
  • Vomiting and / or diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Abdomenopathie
  • Bronchitis acute / chronic
  • Other eczema
  • Precordial pain
  • Otitis media
  • Osteoarthritis ( osteoarthrosis )
  • Heart failure ( chronic)
  • Pharyngitis

( After W. Fink, G. Haidinger: .. Incidence of health disorders in 10 years General Practice General Z. Med 83 (200 ) 102-108 Quoted in "How to GPs mainly deal ", MMW Fortschr Med Nr. .. 16/2007 ( b. 149 ) ) event -based guidelines developed by the German Society of General Practice and Family Medicine ( DEGAM ) under the objective " of family doctors and general practitioners ."

Work goal

The working goal of general medicine is a high-quality medical care, which includes the protection of patients, but also the society against wrong - or under-or over-supply. This professional and scientific interests are represented by the German Society of General Practice and Family Medicine ( DEGAM ).

Work order

The work order of general practice includes:

  • Family medicine filter and control function, in particular its relation to patient and society and responsible step diagnostics and therapy involving specialists;
  • The house and family medical function, particularly the care of the patient in the context of their family or social community, even in the home environment (home visits);
  • Health education function, particularly health advice and promotion for individuals as well as in the community;
  • The coordination and integration function, particularly the targeted allocation to specialists, the lead co-ordination between levels of care, the merging and assessment of all results and their continuous documentation.