We should learn from each other, but continue to celebrate our … Family medicine training provides a broad overview of medicine, pediatrics, ob-gyn, sports medicine, psychiatry, etc. All three may take care of some of the same problems, but their training is different. Family Medicine vs Internal Medicine • Family practice is office based while internal medicine is hospital based. Family medicine doctors may be thought of as pediatricians and internal medicine doctors. Family medicine focuses on treating patients of all ages– both kids and adults. Some even deliver babies, while the vast majority do not. We spoke with a handful of physicians to help you understand these two primary care specialties. Physician practice styles and patient outcomes: differences between family practice and general internal medicine. If you live in or around the Charlotte Metro area and want to find out more about the care options offered by Matthews Internal Medicine: Call 704-246-3926 or use our online form to request an appointment today. A key differentiator in internal medicine and family medicine can be found within their patient demographics: The types of patients they treat is what separates the two areas of medicine. A: While both family medicine doctors and internal medicine doctors treat adults, a family medicine practitioner has more experience caring for patients of all ages. A pediatrician cares for children. Their depth of experience in this setting is greater than that of most family physicians,” Dr. Doggett explains. Internal medicine and family medicine are two of the major fields for primary care physicians. Facts About Family Medicine and Internal Medicine Practices. • Administering nerve blocks, joint injections, and trigger point injections Internal medicine physicians, on the other hand, develop deeper training on common adult health conditions. Another difference between internal medicine and family medicine is in their training and residencies. 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. In this article, we take a detailed look at the type of medicine these professionals practice and what the origins of these practices are. That means when you schedule an appointment with a family physician, your doctor will have a broad base of training in conditions and issues that affect patients of all ages, from infants to seniors. First, take a look at some of the things that both internal medicine and family medicine physicians can expect to do on a daily basis. “Residency programs for both internal medicine and family medicine vary somewhat depending on their location, and the scope of training may be different in rural versus urban settings and in different regions of the country,” Dr. Doggett points out. As medicine became more and more granularly specialized, the medical field pushed for more continuity of care. ", “Internal medicine residents usually have a more rigorous call schedule throughout their three-year training with calls taken exclusively in the hospital,” Dr. Remakus says. Many family medicine residencies are located in areas of need and specifically aim to produce primary care physicians to improve health care outcomes in these areas. (But don't mistake them with "interns," who are doctors in their first year of residency training.) However, the nature of their residencies differs. Family physicians and internal medicine doctors usually complete 3-4 years of further training after medical school and they take exams to become board certified in their specialties. You know you’re destined for a career in medicine, and you have your sights set on working in primary care. Learn more about the factors you should consider when weighing you options in our article, “How to Choose a Medical School: 9 Things to Evaluate Before Accepting.”, TAGS: careers, doctor advice, medical specialties, primary care, Internal Medicine vs. Family Medicine: Diagnosing the Differences, Internal medicine emerged in the late 1800s, develop a comprehensive and deep expertise, How to Choose a Medical School: 9 Things to Evaluate Before Accepting, What’s a Primary Care Physician? Well, for simplification purposes the difference is who the doctor treats. Internal medicine continued to grow as a field solely devoted to adult patients. At the same time, pediatrics began to develop as another branch of medicine. 3 doctors agree . Internal Medicine VS Family Medicine Your doctor is an important part of your life. However, the nature of their residencies differs. This approach to medicine was unique and was applied to the wide spectrum of diseases that affect adults. Residents in family medicine rotate through specialties such as in-patient care, surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics and geriatrics. Internists tend to face more serious ailments, so the ability to work under pressure is also imperative. And that means they’re focused specifically on the very unique needs and health risks adult patients face at every stage of their adult years. Internal Medicine vs. Family Medicine – The Origins. "Internal medicine residents take care of hospitalized patients for three years.". Dr. Girgis also points out that internists can do both inpatient and outpatient medicine, though many now work as hospitalists and just see inpatients. Meanwhile, most internal medicine primary care residents typically spend 20-25% of their time in outpatient care. The confusion arises because most of the patients seen by family physicians are adults. While some interns may train to become internists, an internist – or internal medicine doctor – is a “full-fledged” doctor who’s completed all the training necessary to provide you with comprehensive care that’s focused on your unique needs. Lastly, the ability for a physician to further specialize lends itself more to internal medicine than it does family medicine, according to Dr. Girgis. Family physicians must also possess strong relational skills as they often form bonds with patients and their families over time. "Many internists end up working in hospitals, while most family medicine doctors work in outpatient settings.". OB can be a big division point as well. After training, most family medicine providers immediately start their practice. • In the referral system, family practitioner is the first contact medical officer while internal medicine comes a bit later. 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. He stresses that this is a generalization, as family practitioners do also treat some seriously ill patients and patients with complex problems, while internists can also treat patients who are essentially healthy. Both family practitioners and internists have a three-year residency. Lots of people are confused by the two terms – or more accurately, by the differences between the two specialties. An internal medicine physician cares for adults. Internal medicine residencies are typically hospital-based, while family medicine residencies are primarily office-based. The rotations for internal medicine focus on the needs of adults and include endocrinology, gastroenterology, rheumatology and cardiology. "Internal medicine residents usually have a more rigorous call schedule throughout their three-year training with calls taken exclusively in the hospital. No two shifts are the same, so critical-thinking skills are crucial to assess a completely new set of symptoms with each patient. Scientific methods were applied to an array of adult diseases. Specialization in family medicine is limited to fields such as geriatrics, adolescents, or sports … ©Matthews Internal Medicine 2017. "Internal medicine focuses exclusively on adult medicine, while family medicine typically sees all the members of a family.". Another key to understanding internal medicine versus family medicine is in what they do, both in their day-to-day work and the type of care they provide. Well, an internal medicine doctor (or internist) treats only adults. 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