What Is Family Medicine and Is It Different From Internal Medicine

Did you know there are more than 160 medical specialties and subspecialties in the United States?

With such an extensive array of disciplines, it’s easy to be confused about what specialists treat which diseases. For example, you may be wondering, ‘What is family medicine?’ or how it compares to internal medicine. This is frequently a source of confusion, especially when looking for a family medicine doctor near you.

We’ll look at these two medical disciplines, explore family medicine, and examine what they have in common and the main way in which they differ.

How Does Family Medicine Differ From Internal Medicine?

To fully understand this, we need to take a closer look at what physicians in these medical specialties do. We’ll start with ‘what’s family medicine?’

What Is Family Medicine?

Family medicine is a medical discipline that concentrates on treating the entire family. This includes children and adolescents. (Family physicians may also care for infants, though many parents may opt to seek the services of a pediatrician.)

Family medicine doctors frequently serve as the contact for patients’ first appointment when they have health care problems. From there, a family medicine doctor may refer the patient to a specialist.

Family physicians are also proactive—they perform annual physicals and monitor patients. This enables them to find illnesses or problems before they become serious health issues.

What Is Internal Medicine?

A physician who specializes in internal medicine is called an internist. These doctors are experts at treating chronic diseases. They are also experienced in treating patients who have more than one chronic condition.

These physicians are also well-equipped to handle an extensive spectrum of adult illnesses. Internists particularly focus on how an illness in one part of the body may affect another.

As you can see, there are several similarities between the two specialties.

However, family medicine doctors and internists also have a distinct difference.

What Is the Difference Between A Family Medicine Doctor and An Internal Medicine Physician?

The primary difference between these two specialties is that a family medicine doctor will treat entire families—including children. Internal medicine physicians treat adults only.

Not Sure Where to Begin? Check Out Our Primary Care Services

What is family medicine? What does an internal medicine doctor treat? These are all common questions that we frequently hear. This is one reason why we address your concerns through our extensive primary care physician network.

A primary care physician, encompasses the best of all worlds. They offer comprehensive adult medicine that treats both acute conditions like the common cold and long-term issues like diabetes. We also offer the convenience of same-day sick appointments at any one of our convenient locations.

Another added benefit is that our primary care physicians can also refer you to our extensive array of specialty services at Conway Medical Center. This includes everything from our orthopedic services to our Duke Health-affiliated cardiology and oncology programs.

Interested in getting started? Contact us today. Our experienced, compassionate providers are ready to be your partners in health care.