Difference Between Internal Medicine and Family Medicine (With Table)

This is arguably one of the most perplexing concerns for many trainees (and visitors), especially when it comes to intensivists who specialize in general internal health. The emphasis, training, and clinical services activities of such two specialties, nevertheless, are fundamentally different.

Many individuals are perplexed by the words – or, to be more precise, the distinctions between the two specializations. While there are some similarities between internal medicine as well as family practice, then there are some significant distinctions. And, this article will make sure to clear out your doubts regarding both of them.

Internal Medicine vs Family Medicine

The difference between internal medicine and family medicine is that internal medicine specialists only treat adults and elderly people and the field of expertise includes general physiology and pathological disease treatments. Whereas family medicine practitioners are like the general physicians who see every member of your family may it be an infant or even your grandpa. Both types of medicine programs have a broad scope and family medicine practitioners are trained in a way to deal with every possible distress and disease as they have to look towards every member of the family.

Internal medicine is a professional clinical specialty in which doctors use technical knowledge and medical skills to effectively treat individuals with a broad range of health problems. Internists are doctors who specialize in general surgery and internal medicine.

General internists are particularly suited to provide primary care to patients and follow them throughout their lifetimes. Some internists serve as hospitalists, quality and operational care in hospitals; others solely give treatment to outpatients. General internists could also work in protracted care homes and retraining institutes.

On the other hand, A family practice clinician is a doctor who has specialized in care provision to the entire extended family. This encompasses pediatrics (hospital attention for children) as well as OB/GYN (obstetrics and gynecology) and age assessment. Family doctors are “committed to addressing the complete family precisely,” as per the American Academy of Family Physicians, a group of doctors and medical trainees. They are committed to delivering medical services to people of all ages and genders.

Comparison Table Between Internal medicine and Family Medicine

Parameters of ComparisonInternal MedicineFamily Medicine
Age Groups18+ to 100 years of ageBirth to 100 years of age
PractiseAdults with an emphasis on internal organs and internal structures should be diagnosed, and treated.Trained to deal with a wide range of medical problems in persons of all ages
FunctioningThey are equipped and trained with general practitioners. These doctors are experts in the field of endocrine systems and internal hemorrhagic surgeries etc.They look after certain families for long generations and prescribe and take care of every member of that family only.
TrainingResidency is three years long, with a concentration on prevalent medical problems and a few months of emergency and intensive care unit training.3-year residency; training is generally at outpatient facilities, with at least 6 months in an inpatient hospital. Extra training in obstetrics and gynaecology is required.
ScopeIt has convergent opportunities and has very much competition.It has divergent scope and opportunities with increased recruitment.

What is Internal Medicine?

What distinguishes internal medicine from family medicine is that general surgery and internal medicine programs are based only on grownups and involve expertise in both primary care and family practice subspecialties, ensuring in-depth instruction in adult medical concerns.

The internists gain competence in identifying a wide range of diseases that often affect adults, as well as treating complicated medical scenarios in which several disorders may affect a single person, thanks to their general and specialty training.

Internal medicine education is needed, and it involves considerable expertise in each of the primary care specialized fields (such as an endocrinologist, rheumatic treatments, and contagious diseases), as well as neuroscience. To provide complete treatment for adults, learners must obtain sufficient expertise in psychotherapy, cosmetics, optometry, office gynecology, non-operative orthopedics, and rehabilitation pharmaceutics.

Experience in both outpatient and inpatient settings is required by internists. A lengthy outpatient continuation clinic experience is important for all learners, in which fellows build long-term psychotherapy connections with a panel of general medical patients.

Trainees also visit outpatients throughout their specialty clinical experiences, in conjunction with this continuation towards clinic exposure. Internal medicine training must include at minimum one year of treatment for hospitalized patients, as well as at least 3 different months of practice in critical care units.

What is Family Medicine?

Family medicine is based on the concept of a social institution (the home) rather than a single patient group (grown-ups, kids, or females). In reaction to the expanding level of specialization in healthcare, which was regarded as progressively threatening the priority of the doctor-patient connection and continuation of treatment, the specialty of family practice arose in the late 1960s as a result of the general practitioner revolution.

Family medicine covers a wide range of topics. Family medicine differs from specialties that concentrate on a population of patients, a major organ (such as urologist or heart), or the type of a treatment (such as an operation) since it is structured around a social grouping family system.

The University of Chicago emphasizes the importance of long-term caring connections with patients and family members in family practice. Basic care is provided by family medicine doctors, and this is the first line of treatment that patients seek not just when they are sick, but also for preventative care such as annual checkups, immunizations, and very well visits.

Family medicine residency programs are generally held in specialized outpatient training areas where residents work to complete their education. A panel of continuous individuals who require trainees to offer emergency, acute, and wellbeing care, with a minimal number of contacts with elderly and children individuals.

Main Differences Between Internal Medicine and Family Medicine

  1. Internal medicine practitioners focus only on adult checks ups whereas family medicine doctors have to be responsible enough to treat every member of the family.
  2. Internal medicine doctors are usually working with general practitioners whereas family doctors are much of a socially active set of medical helpers.
  3. Internal medicine doctors have fixed courses for training whereas family medicine trainees have to learn a diverse variety of clinical and medical experience and skills.
  4. Internal medicine doctors have convergent scope whereas family medicine practitioners have a divergent scope.
  5. Psychology is not a subject for internal medicine doctors but it is an essential subject for family medicine doctors.


There are significant distinctions between internal medicine and family medicine, as can be shown. Based on the practice context and the person’s individual needs, each has diverse skill sets and vital responsibilities in the treatment of adult patients and delivering medical services.

As an adult, you have the option of seeing an internal medicine doctor or a family doctor. If you want to see a pediatrician or a general practitioner for your kids, you can do so. Family medicine practice may be the ideal option for you if you have kids and value having everybody visit the very same doctor and building a long-term connection with your primary care doctor.


  1. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-family-practice-doctor
  2. https://efim.org/what-internal-medicine
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