Difference between family and internal medicine

Internal Medicine vs. Family Medicine

difference between family and internal medicine

"Primary care physicians fall into [one of two categories]: family medicine doctors and internal medicine doctors,” explains Saju Mathew, M.D., a primary care.


Which doctor do I see? What exactly do they do? Today we will tackle the difference between family practice vs internal medicine physicians. Well, for simplification purposes the difference is who the doctor treats. An internal medicine practitioner strictly treats adults, while a family practice doctor cares for patients of all ages. A family practice physician addresses a large breadth of topics including but not limited to pediatrics, adult medicine, maternity care, gynecology, skin care of the surgical patient, emergency care, sports medicine, mental health, diagnostic imaging, and nuclear medicine.

Family medicine physician Michael Rabovsky, MD,answers this one. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. A: Internists are specialty-trained to treat adults from 18 years old through the geriatric years. They have intensive and comprehensive training in all aspects of adult medical care. Internists specialize in primary care screening and in treating common adult problems, such as diabetes and hypertension , as well as in treating patients with a complex combination of conditions.

The wide variety in daily duties, different types of ailments, and the relationship-building that occurs with recurring patients are all job aspects you find attractive — not to mention the opportunity to help ease the impending primary care physician shortage. Clearing up these commonly confused areas of practice can help you plan your primary care career path. We spoke with a handful of physicians to help you understand these two primary care specialties. Keep reading for a side-by-side comparison of internal medicine versus family medicine. If you want to understand the differences between internal medicine and family medicine, first take a look at how these two areas of the field were formed.

Skip Navigation. Adults can choose a family medicine doctor or an internal medicine doctor as their primary care physician. Your primary care doctor is a key member of your health care team. At Duke Primary Care, adults have a choice between doctors specializing in family medicine or internal medicine. In many ways, these types of doctors are similar: Their common goal is to help you protect and improve your health. But there are differences in their training and the types of patients they see.

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience. To ensure optimal security, this website will soon be unavailable on this browser. Please upgrade your browser to allow continued use of ACP websites. This is perhaps one of the most confusing questions for many students and patients alike , particularly when referring to internists who practice general internal medicine. However, there are fundamental differences in the focus, training, and patient care activities of these two specialties. Historically, internal medicine and family medicine developed from very different backgrounds.


Family Medicine vs. Internal Medicine: What’s the Difference?


Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Doctor?


Family Practice Vs Internal Medicine: How to Choose the Right Doctor for You



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  1. Naomi C. says:

    Internal medicine vs. family medicine: Origins of practice

  2. Idelfonso E. says:

    Internal Medicine vs. Family Medicine | ACP

  3. Icitgeka says:

    The difference between family medicine and internal medicine

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  5. Jose R. says:

    Finding the Primary Care That’s Right for You

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