Primary medical care is a vital part of everyone's health. Maintaining good health can be done by exercising regularly and eating a good diet; however, it is also necessary to regularly receive primary medical care. Primary medical care ensures that patients are in good health and free of infections, diseases or other harmful health conditions.…
Can I Choose an Internal Medicine Doctor as My Primary Care Physician?
Before selecting a primary care physician, many individuals want to know the difference between an internal medicine doctor and a family care doctor. Read on to learn more. Both are primary care doctors with training in a variety of subspecialties. So, what is the difference between the two, and how do you choose the right professional for you?
Choosing an internal medicine or family doctor as your primary care physician
Internal medicine physicians, otherwise called internists, provide treatment specifically for adults. While there are internists that also cater to children, they need to have internal medicine and pediatrics training. Internal medicine doctors specialize in the diagnosis and prevention of illness in adults. They have been educated to treat a broad range of illnesses and provide preventive and wellness advice to their patients.
To practice internal medicine, the physician must complete a three-year residency program and can proceed to get additional education in a specialty like neurology, cardiology, endocrinology, oncology, psychiatry, geriatrics, dermatology, or rheumatology.
What is a family medicine doctor?
A doctor that practices family medicine provides treatment to patients of all age groups, from newborns to the elderly. They focus on four major medical specialties: adolescent medicine, pediatrics, adult medicine, and geriatrics. Family medicine physicians often provide treatment to the same patients throughout their lives, and in many instances, they treat several generations of the same family.
Family doctors need to complete a three-year residency program after medical school to practice primary care. Their primary care residency covers specialties like pediatric medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, psychiatry, emergency medicine, surgery, radiography, and ophthalmology. They must receive training to identify and treat a wide range of illnesses and ailments since their services cover people of all ages and conditions.
Due to further fellowship training, many family medicine doctors add obstetrics, sports medicine, and palliative care to their practice.
How to choose between internal medicine and family medicine doctors
It is often challenging to choose between internal and family medicine doctors since they are primary care physicians. They both have the training required to treat and diagnose a wide range of ailments, and they will help patients avoid illness and identify health issues early on when treatment is still possible.
Patients are often confused by the term “family” because they believe it implies they must have children to visit that kind of primary care doctor, but this is not the case. Internal medicine physicians typically only see patients over 18, while family medicine doctors can provide treatment for patients of all ages and offer some OB-GYN services.
Ready to schedule an appointment?
Regardless of the kind of doctor that a patient is searching for (internal medicine or a primary care physician), it is important to choose the one you are comfortable with. If you are an adult in need of healthcare services, from preventive care to treatment for chronic diseases, you can choose an internal medicine doctor as your primary care provider.
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