Internal Medicine vs. Family Medicine

Internal medicine and family doctors are primary care providers with different subspecialties. Keep reading to learn more about what sets these types of medicine apart and which kind of doctor is right for your care.

What Is Internal Medicine?

Internal medicine focuses primarily on care for adults over the age of 18. If an internist chooses to provide medical care for children as well, they must have additional training in pediatrics.

Internal medicine doctors specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases in inpatient and outpatient settings. They can best identify prevalent diseases through their expertise in laboratory tests and bloodwork examinations.

Following a traditional three-year residency program, internists can opt to focus their studies on a specific system or part of the body. Specialized training allows them to problem-solve how a health issue in one area can affect another. This knowledge makes an internist especially valuable in diagnosing health issues in patients with chronic illnesses.

What Is Family Medicine?

Family practice physicians care for people of all ages, including infants and older adults. This specialty allows family medicine doctors to follow the same patients throughout their lives and care for a whole family at once.

Specifically, family doctors practice four types of medicine:

  • Pediatrics: Pediatric medicine encompasses infants and children from birth to age 12.
  • Adolescent medicine: Adolescents refer to children ages 12 to 17.
  • Adult medicine: Adults are classified from age 18 to 74.
  • Geriatrics: Once patients turn 75, the care they receive is considered geriatric medicine.

Like internal medicine, family medicine doctors must complete a three-year residency program after medical school. Because family medicine is more generalized, this residency includes training in all areas, including pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine, internal medicine, radiology, psychiatry and urology. They may also go on to add fellowship training in sports medicine, palliative care or other specialties.

Internal Medicine vs. Family Medicine

Internists and family doctors will help diagnose, treat and prevent health conditions. Because the care they provide seems similar, choosing between an internal medicine physician and a family medicine doctor can take time.

However, you may decide between an internal medicine doctor and a family medicine doctor based on several factors. These considerations include:

  • Age: Depending on your age, the decision may be easy. Family medicine doctors can treat all ages, while internists specialize in adult conditions.
  • Condition: Your overall health can help determine which doctor to see. If you have a chronic condition, you may benefit from an internal medicine doctor’s specialized training in this area. A family medicine doctor will have more general knowledge in all areas.
  • Family: If you seek care for multiple family members, everyone can see the same family medicine doctor. If the adults opt for an internal medicine physician, they will have to find a separate pediatrician for their children.
  • Environment: Overall, your decision can come down to the resources available in your area. Because internists are so specialized, they are likely to work in larger, more populated areas. Family medicine doctors often open more local practices.

How Can First Docs Help?

At First Docs, we have the vision to provide personalized and compassionate care to every patient that comes through our doors. We strive to maintain adequate and efficient care practices that benefit our patients and partnering facilities.

Because this goal drives everything we do, FirstDocs offers two primary services.

Family Medicine Doctor Offices

First Docs is a family medical practice with offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Hamilton, New Jersey. Our primary healthcare services encompass a wide range of specialties, including general medical care, preventive care, chronic disease management, mental health care and health education.

First Docs was established to enhance the primary care industry, allowing patients to collaborate with physicians on their treatment plans. Our team of physicians can be on-site five to seven days a week and have 24/7 telemedicine call coverage. We’re here when you need us.

Internist Staffing Services

To continue our goal of providing quality services and giving every patient the best outcomes, First Docs can assist with internist staffing in hospital settings. As a physician-owned company, we understand the challenges that come with healthcare staffing and can help you find the right candidate for the job.

Let us manage resources so you can be the most efficient center possible. We can set staffing levels, coordinate professional work, schedule staff shifts and complete other organizational tasks.

First Docs can walk beside you throughout every step of the staffing process. Our services ensure adequate staff training and resources for a smooth transition.

Contact the Experts at First Docs Today

Internal medicine and family medicine doctors are essential members of a healthcare team. Choosing First Docs benefits both patients and partnering facilities. Contact us today for more information about how we can best serve you.

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