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Authors > Michael Tuggy, MD

“As primary care gets more and more support in this country, we’re going to be asking our primary care doctors to have a broader scope of practice in order to meet the needs of the community more effectively.” -Dr. Michael Tuggy

Why Family Medicine?

Family medicine offers the full scope of practice of medicine that I enjoy doing: I like taking care of people of all ages, from conception, birth and end of life care for our elderly.  Family medicine has great opportunities for performing procedures – both in the outpatient and inpatient settings.  Being a personal physician to my patients is incredibly rewarding with the meaningful long term relationships we develop in family medicine.

Trends in Family Medicine

In family medicine there’s definitely a trend towards broadening the scope of what we do. As primary care gets more and more support in this country, we’re going to be asking our primary care doctors to have a broader scope of practice in order to meet the needs of the community more effectively. So the better trained you are in the care delivery, either in the medical components or the procedural components, the more valuable you’re going to be to the community and to your patients.

Focusing on the Visual

Jorge Garcia and I put the Atlas of Essential Procedures together in order to allow both medical students and family medicine residents to learn the core procedures of primary care. A key step model helps you learn the proper order in which to do things, and also not forget key components of what needs to be done in order to do the procedure properly. The videos are also broken up in the same way, reflecting the key steps so you can learn that process. The goal is to watch the video, read the text and then go back again to watch the video to really fill out your knowledge base before you actually try the procedure on a model or a real patient.

Seeing Inside

A few years ago we realized the video components were really important, but some of the procedures that we do involve things you can’t see because they’re inside the pelvis or inside the body. Elsevier helped us purchase a large 3D model of the human body which allows us to integrate that into our video products. That integration actually gives you the ability to see what you could not see otherwise.

One of the great things I see happening now is the move to electronic formats. That’s really going to enhance the user’s interaction with the tools that we’re providing. I’m sure over time that we’re going to see many more books integrated with video, audio, maybe more complex cases that will be integrated into the text to show even more complicated ways of fixing problems and come up with procedural work that we do. Those are all things that I think would be easier to do now with the electronic format. And also we can update them more easily. As things change, we can go in and switch out a web page or change a video and update it without having to have you purchase a whole other book for those simple updates.


Michael Tuggy, MD is a Clinical Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Director of the Swedish Family Medicine Residency Program, and Medical Director of the Swedish Family Medicine/First Hill Campus clinic. He is a board-certified family medicine physician.

He holds his MD from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and has postgraduate training in advanced cardiac life support, advanced trauma life support, chemical casualty care, and advanced life support in obstetrics. He has also published research in backcountry and telemark skiing injuries, altitude adaptation and illness, as well as studies with virtual reality training devices in family medicine.

Dr. Tuggy is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, National Ski Patrol, and the Wilderness Medical Society, where he served on the board for two years.  He is the president-elect for the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors in 2012 and will serve as its president in 2013.

Related Authors: Jorge Garcia, MD