General practice/family medicine (GP/FM) is the core discipline of primary medical care and the cornerstone of many healthcare systems in Europe. The vast majority of European citizens have a general practitioner (GP) who is the first contact physician in case of health problems.
Family medicine is a relatively new medical specialty with growing number of academic institutions that closely cooperate with family practices providing healthcare to local communities.
Today, family physicians and their GP practices are supported by the newest IT technologies and frequently use telemedicine as a tool to access advanced diagnostic methods.
General practitioners have access to a large and diverse patient population and manage common types of chronic and acute diseases that often present in an early stage of development.
Many diseases are treated primarily by GPs, and approximately 80% of health problems can be solved in primary care in close proximity to the patient’s home.
Person-centredness is one of the core elements of GP/FM care. It includes a patient-centred approach in dealing with the patient and his/her problems, an effective doctor-patient relationship, communication, and partnership providing long-term continuity of care.
The clinical research industry today is undergoing a major change and is looking to adopt and implement innovative ways to accelerate drug development and access to the market. The industry has started to look at patients not as “subjects” but as informed collaborators, whose participation is crucial to the overall success of the trials. The emerging concept of “patient-centric trials” is a new opportunity for both the clinical research industry and family medicine supported by technology, social media, and education.