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What is the Difference Between Family Medicine and Internal Medicine?

What is the Difference Between Family Medicine and Internal Medicine?

If you’re looking for a new primary care doctor, you have likely seen offices that specialize in family care, and offices that specialize in internal medicine. 

While both of those specialties might seem like they would work for you, you may still wonder what the difference is between them.

Read on to find out how family medicine and internal medicine are similar, and how they’re different, and which one might be best for your situation, courtesy of the expert team at Physicians Medical Primary Care.

What is the main difference in family medicine and internal medicine?

Let’s start with this — family medicine and internal care overlap in much of what they focus on. In fact, they both are considered primary care specialties, but the main difference is that family medicine doctors treat patients of any age, from birth all the way through death, while internal care physicians focus on adults age 18 and over. 

There’s also a difference in the settings where each type of medicine is practiced. Family care tends to take place more in outpatient settings (mostly visits to the doctor’s office), while internal medicine doctors often practice in an inpatient setting (such as at the hospital).

What are other similarities and differences?

Doctors who want to practice family medicine must complete a three-year residency after medical school that includes training in a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including both acute and chronic issues, as well as training in obstetrics and gynecology.

Internists (another name for doctors who practice internal medicine) must also complete a three-year residency, along with additional training in a subspeciality, such as neurology, oncology, or cardiology.

Family medicine tends to be more preventive in nature and provide care for the whole person, focusing on continuity of care, maintenance of good health, and prevention of disease for all ages.

Internal medicine physicians become experts in diagnosing a variety of common diseases, and then in managing the complex conditions those diseases may cause. They also provide excellent pre- and post-operative care if an operation is needed.

When you’re ready to establish care, the team at Physicians Medical Primary Care is happy to serve you. We have providers who specialize in both family medicine and internal medicine, so you’ll be covered no matter what you need.

Just call one of our offices or use our convenient online appointment tool to schedule a visit, and you’ll soon be in very good hands.

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