The American Board of Medical Specialties recognizes Family Medicine as a distinct discipline requiring an additional three years of training for doctors who wish to become Board Certified in this field. Family Medicine doctors are usually primary care providers (PCPs) [formerly general practitioners, or GPs] for the entire family. The Family Physician (FP) provides comprehensive care and treatment to families and individuals throughout their life spans. FPs are skilled at preventive health care and behavioral medicine. In a managed care system, they are often referred to as "gatekeepers," because they may be required to coordinate referrals to other specialists.
American Board of Medical Specialties, 2006-2008.