Family Medicine VS. Internal Medicine

  • December 18, 2020
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Here in El Paso, Texas it is important to know about your Doctor’s specialty. Your doctor is an important member of your healthcare team. Your primary healthcare provider can provide you with guidance to help you stay healthy and give you treatment when you are ill. He/she also directs your care in case you require specialized treatment.

Family medicine mainly focuses on the treatment of patients of all ages including adults and kids. It means when you consult a family practice doctor, he/she will have a wide training base in issues and conditions that affects patients of all ages from newborn to old age individuals.

On the other hand, internal medicine concentrates on the individual needs of adult patients. While a pediatrician treats only children while an internal medicine physician treats only adults. It means that they focus particularly on the unique needs and health risks related to adult patients at any stage of their adult years.

What Does a Family Medicine Doctor Do?

A family medicine doctor provides healthcare to the entire family. Such doctors must complete a 3-year residency program once completed medical school. Family medicine residencies involve training in obstetrics, emergency medicine, gynecology, pediatric medicine, geriatric care, internal medicine, and much more.

As family medicine physicians provide care for patients of all ages, they are completely trained to examine and diagnose a broad range of chronic and acute conditions, as well as behavioral health issues and common skin diseases. A family medicine doctor is proficient to care for patients of all ages and may specialize in some areas regarding overall well-being and preventative care, such as functional medicine. 

There is a question that people often ask regarding family medicine is: Do I have to have a family, to have a family medicine doctor? The answer to this question is no. it is not necessary to have a family, to have a family medicine primary healthcare provider. In fact, any person can opt for a family medicine physician for their healthcare.

As family medicine doctors mostly do care for whole families, they may care for one person from when they are a newborn to adulthood. Continuous care is a major benefit of having a family medicine doctor particularly if you are searching for a practitioner who provides functional medicine. Over time, patients can create a close relationship and understanding with their primary care physician.

What Does an Internal Medicine Doctor Do?

While a family medicine doctor provides healthcare for the entire family, an internal medicine doctor offers care for adults only. As a pediatrician offers care only for children, an internal medicine doctor or internist focuses on adult medical care.

Similar to a family medicine doctor, an internist must also complete a 3-years residency after the completion of medical school. This residency program includes everything from common medical conditions to all-encompassing training in sub-specialties like psychiatry, neurology, endocrinology, dermatology, rheumatology, and more. Internal medicine doctors also have experience regarding the healthcare of patients in both outpatients and inpatient settings, meaning that they can offer continuous care to adult patients who are hospitalized for any reason.

Internists or internal medicine doctors are perfect for adults who are searching for a primary care doctor just for themselves, and for those adults who may have health problems or issues that could need more specialized care.   

Everyone needs to have a home base for health care problems. It is of utmost importance to have an office where you are known and a physician whom you can trust to offer you healthcare. In case you have a medical emergency, you will know where exactly you have to go and you can save a lot of time.