Southeast Texas Medical Associates, LLP Healthcare Where Your Health is the Only Care Southeast Texas Medical Associates, LLP

Providers - Family Practice
Print this page

Diabetes Educators

Family Practice

Hospital Services Team

Infectious Disease

Internal Medicine


Nurse Practitioners




Mary Castro M.D.

David Cox MD, PA

Caesar Deiparine M.D.

Dean Halbert M.D.

Majaz Khan D.O.

Nhat Le MD

Vincent Murphy M.D.

SETMA's Family Practice department is committed to excellence in the care of all members of the family. Not all of SETMA's Family physicians are board-certified, but all maintain extensive continuing medical education hours and an active curiosity and learning which keeps them abreast of the rapid changes in medicine. Through the electronic medical record, SETMA has developed the ability for all physicians to bring to bear upon a patient encounter, not what a particular provider knows, but what is known. This insures everyone who visits SETMA that they will be treated with the best information in the context of a caring and compassionate setting.

History of Family Practice

Family Practice is the medical specialty which provides continuing and comprehensive health care for the individual and family. It is the specialty, in breadth, which integrates the biological, clinical, and behavioral sciences. The scope of family practice encompasses all ages, both sexes, each organ system and every disease entity.

The specialty of Family Practice was born in 1969. This came following a period of time in the 1950s and 1960s where specialization had caused the fragmentation of medicine to a great degree. There was a need for a primary care physician specialty to be developed where these physicians could serve to provide patients with comprehensive and personalized care. In 1969, the American Board of Family Practice (ABFP) came into being as the 20th medical specialty board, thus giving rise to the specialty of Family Practice.

The American Board of Family Physicians distinguished itself by being the first specialty board to require certification every 6 years to ensure the ongoing competence of its members. In addition, board certified family physicians, in order to remain certified, must, in addition to passing a test administered by the ABFP every 6 years, obtain 300 hours of continuing medical education over that 6 year period. This makes the family physician the doctor with the broadest knowledge as well as the most "up to date" knowledge.

Board certified Family Physicians possess unique attitudes, skills, and knowledge which qualify them to provide continuing and comprehensive medical care, health maintenance and preventative services to each member of the family regardless of sex, age or type of problem, be it biological, behavioral, or social. These specialists, because of their background and interactions with the family, are best qualified to serve as each patient's advocate in all health-related matters, including the appropriate use of consultants, health services and community resources.

Whether Board certified or not, all SETMA physicians benefit from the American Academy of Family Practices monthly American Family Physician. Without question, this Journal is a prime source for any physician who wishes to remain current and offer his/her patient the best care available. It is used extensively by all SETMA physicians and nurse practitioners.

Extension of the Historical General Practitioner

Family practice is the continuing and current expression of the historical medical practitioner. The first physicians were generalists. For thousands of years, these generalists provided all of the medical care available. They diagnosed and treated illnesses, performed surgery, and delivered babies. As medical knowledge expanded and technology advanced, many physicians chose to limit their practices to specific, defined areas of medicine. With World War II, the age of specialization began to flourish. In the two decades following the war, the number of specialists and subspecialists increased at a phenomenal rate, while the number of general practitioners declined dramatically. The public became increasingly vocal about the fragmentation of their care and the shortage of personal physicians who could provide initial, continuing and comprehensive care. Thus began the reorientation of medicine back to personal, primary care. The concept of the generalist was reborn with the establishment of family practice as medicine's twentieth specialty.

Family practice is a three-dimensional specialty, incorporating the dimensions of (1) knowledge, (2) skill, and (3) process. While knowledge and skill may be shared with other specialties, the family practice process is unique. At the center of this process is the patient-physician relationship with the patient viewed in the context of the family. It is the extent to which this relationship is valued, developed, nurtured and maintained that distinguishes family practice from all other specialties.

In the dimension of process, the family physician functions as the patient's means of entry into the health care system. The family physician is the physician of first contact in most situations and, as the initial provider, is in a unique position to form a bond with the patient. The family physician evaluates the patient's total health needs, and provides personal care within one or more fields of medicine. The family physician's care is comprehensive and not limited by age, sex, organ system or type of problem, be it biological, behavioral, or social. The family physician's care utilizes knowledge of the patient in the context of the family and the community. This care emphasizes disease prevention and health promotion. The family physician refers the patient when indicated to other sources of care while preserving continuity of care. The family physician's role as a cost-effective coordinator of the patient's health services is integral to the care provided. If the patient is hospitalized, this role prevents fragmentation and a lack of coordination of care. This role also allows the family physician to serve as the patient's advocate in dealing with third-party payers, employers, and others.

Thus, in the family practice process the patient-physician relationship is initiated, established, developed, and maintained for both sexes, for all ages, across time, and independent of problem type. Although all family physicians share a core of information, the dimensions of knowledge and skill vary with the individual family physician based on patient needs and the physician's continuing education. As patient needs differ in various geographic areas, the content of a family physician's practice varies accordingly. For example, the knowledge and skills used by a family physician practicing in an inner city may vary from those utilized by a family physician practicing in a rural setting. Furthermore, the scope of practice changes over time. The family physician's practice continually evolves as competency in current skills is maintained and new knowledge and skill are obtained through continuing medical education. This growth in medical information also confers on the family physician a responsibility for the assessment of new medical technology and for participation in resolving ethical dilemmas brought about by these technological advances.

In summary, the family physician of today is rooted in the historical generalist tradition. The specialty is three dimensional, combining knowledge and skill with a unique process. The patient-physician relationship in the context of the family is central to this process and distinguishes family practice from other specialties. Knowledge and skills vary among family physicians according to their patients' needs and the ability to incorporate new information into their practices. Above all, the scope of family practice is dynamic, expanding, and evolutionary.

2929 Calder
3570 College
Mark A. Wilson Clinic
2010 Dowlen
2400 Highway 365
610 Strickland Drive
137 N LHS Drive

409-833-9797 888-833-0523

Office Hours: Monday through Thursday 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM and Friday 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
If you need information about your healthcare, you may contact us by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.