When looking for the right doctor for you, it can be a difficult and confusing choice as to whether internal medicine vs family practice is best for you. While they may share some similarities, there are also considerable differences that you would need to be aware of before making a decision.

Read below for an in-depth overview of internal medicine vs family practice and which option would be best for you. We will explain everything about the two, as well as key questions such as: what’s the difference between internal medicine and family medicine, what is an internist, and more. Also, we will attempt to help keep your mind at ease and ensure you choose the right doctor. 

What Is an Internist?

One of the most common questions asked when deciding between internal medicine vs family practice is: what is an internist doctor? In short, an internist doctor, also known as an internal medicine physician, mainly focuses on the overall health of the internal organs. 

When asking what is an internist, make sure not to confuse internists with an intern, they mean completely different things! An intern is learning to become a healthcare professional while an internist is fully qualified in their field.  

Are you confused about the differences between internal medicine vs family medicine? To clear things up, an internal medicine physician has more expertise in internal medicine.  They mainly help prevent any internal organ complications from impacting the patient’s overall health. 

If a patient suffers from a lot of chronic illness or genetic disorders, seeing an internist would be the top priority in getting this sorted.

Older patients are the most common group to see an internist, due to the body aging and thus having more chronic illnesses as time passes. 

We often get asked: what is an internist doctor? Can they only treat internal organ problems? An internist doctor will have all the know-how to effectively figure out and treat a wide range of illnesses that a patient may be experiencing. So, although they have more expertise in treating the internal organs of patients, they have wide-ranging knowledge of treatments and will be able to expertly help those patients in need.

When comparing internal medicine vs family medicine, there are a few similarities, but also a few differences. An internal medicine physician is similarly trained to a family physician and will perform general health and medical needs when requested. However, the major difference between internal medicine vs family medicine, is that the training acquired by an internal medicine practitioner is primarily for adults. This should help you understand the question of what is an internist doctor?

Due to the nature of caring for adults, extra training is given to internal medicine care practitioners for the following:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Sleep medicine
  • Palliative medicine
  • Orthopedics
  • Ophthalmology
  • Dermatology
  • Psychiatry
  • Additional care

Throughout these fields, the doctor will have the necessary experience and knowledge to care for adults of all ages.

Along with this, they are able to give hospital care when required, while being able to operate in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. However, internal doctors concentrate more on outpatient care and usually refer a patient to a specialist for inpatient needs. 

Young Arab Internist Working With Tablet Computer.

What Is Internal Medicine Primary Care?

When comparing the difference between internal medicine and family medicine, internal medicine primary care often comes up in conversation. To clear things up, internal medicine primary care is the first point of contact for many patients, before they go to hospitals or get treatment. Primary care services can range from anything from general practices, pharmacies, dental, and optometry services. 

As internal medicine care is mainly adult-focused, internists would be well equipped to diagnose and prevent any potential health complications from occurring in this age group. 

What a Family Doctor Provides

A family doctor will have the required knowledge for the majority of health complications impacting patients irrespective of their age. Although they tend to focus on general health care, some are known to specialize in a specific field. 

Their overall skill set includes the ability to diagnose and manage any acute illnesses and chronic conditions. Also, family doctors are able to provide preventive care to patients.      

Difference between Internal Medicine and Family Medicine

So, family medicine vs internal medicine, are they the same? When receiving family medicine, it simply, means that it is suitable for all individuals, no matter their age. On the contrary, internal medicine care will focus on just adults. For more information on family medicine vs internal medicine, please refer to the relevant sections above. 

General Physician

Doctor Checking Patient's Blood Pressure at Table in Office

A general physician is similar to those that practice family medicine, but a little different. They provide healthcare to children, adolescents, and adults, but do not specialize in family medicine. However, many do go into this medical field during their careers. 

They go through a rigorous training program and are equipped to deal with the following:

  • Medical education is broad to deal with a vast range of patient problems
  • Their approach to diagnosis is thorough, scientific, and logical 
  • Treatment and medicines are only prescribed for the best results
  • Understand the clinical decision making 

Hopefully, this answers all your questions when trying to understand the difference between family medicine vs internal medicine, and general physicians.

Family or Internal Medicine near Me

Hopefully, we’ve helped you learn a thing or two about the differences between the physicians listed. Yes, there is some overlap when it comes to each role, however, it’s clear that each can specialize in certain aspects.  

Looking for a highly qualified internal, general, or family healthcare practitioner near you? If you’re located near Hialeah, Florida, Carreras Medical Center is here to help. By contacting us effortlessly, you can book an appointment in minutes to find the most suitable option for your needs.