Internal Medicine vs Family Practice: Difference and Comparison

When it comes to differentiating between internal medicine and family medicine, both of which are commonly referred to as “general practitioners,” it can get quite tricky. Similar is the case with Internal Medicine and Family Practice.

Key Takeaways

  1. Internal Medicine doctors specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of adult diseases. In contrast, Family Practice doctors care for patients of all ages and treat various medical conditions.
  2. Internal Medicine doctors may refer patients to specialists, while Family Practice doctors provide comprehensive care and manage chronic conditions.
  3. Internal Medicine doctors work in hospitals or specialized clinics, while Family Practice doctors work in primary care settings.

Internal Medicine vs Family Practice

Internal medicine is a medical speciality that focuses on the care of adults. Internists are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions that affect adults. Family practice is a medical speciality that focuses on the care of individuals and families across all ages and stages of life. Family physicians are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions.

Internal Medicine vs Family Practice

According to the American College of Physicians (ACP), internal medicine practitioners care for patients throughout their lives, from adolescence to old age.

Family practice is indeed very comprehensive in that one may build a personal relationship with the patients and members of their group, serving patients at any point in life.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonInternal MedicineFamily Practice
Focused on groupElderly patients are the cornerstone of internal medicine.Children and adults alike are treated in family medicine. Consequently, a family physician will be well-versed in illnesses and difficulties that impact elderly, from newborns to seniors, when one arranges an appointment with the same.
Training Base levelIn addition, internal medicine professionals undergo training in general health and surgical issues (including preventative care), however this practice is geared toward adults.Care and wellness issues impacting patients of all age groups are taught to family medicine physicians.
Hospital CareInternists are much more inclined to give medical treatment in addition to outpatient treatment in their offices. Both inpatient & outpatient clinical services are a specialty of internists, who have received extensive training and instruction.Inpatient care isn’t out of the question for a family practice doctor, but much of their expertise is focused on outpatient treatments, with inpatient requirements handled to specialists.
Specialized inInternal medicine is a field of competence. Diagnostics and treatment of major organ illnesses are part of its scope.People and families of all ages and genders can benefit from family medicine, which is part of primary care.
Dealing with PediatricsObstetrics and pediatrics are not part of an internist’s training. Adult medicine is the primary focus of these residents.Besides working with geriatric internal medicine, family medicine residents are required to complete pediatric rotations as part of their residency training.

What is Internal Medicine?

As for internal medicine doctors, they’re also equally important. As a result, they specialize in adult health.

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It appears that internists are increasingly choosing to subspecialize in a certain discipline, which allows them to become more informed in their chosen area of specialization as a result.

As a result of their continuous outpatient experiences during training, internists can very well provide medical services to adults, especially for clinically complicated cases. 

Additionally, their skills enable them to effectively collaborate with their internal medicine subspecialty coworkers in tackling different patients (like those with implants, cancer, or immune deficiency) as well as smoothly transitioning sick people from outpatient to inpatient settings (and conversely) when they require hospitalization.

doctor

What is Family Practice?

There are many subjects that family practice physicians cover, not all of which are restricted to paediatrics, adult medicines, gynaecology as well as surgical patient skin care as well as critical care, sports medicine, mental well-being as well as radiology and nuclear medicine.

A family practice physician treats patients of various ages, genders, and orientations. The continuity of treatment that a family physician provides is one of the biggest advantages of visiting one.

As a medical partner, a family physician helps patients remain healthy, manage chronic disorders like diabetes or heart disease, and find relevant ailments such as chest pains or herpes.

family practices

Main Differences Between Internal Medicine and Family Practice

  1. Internal medicine is a field of competence. Diagnostics and treatment of major organ illnesses are part of its scope.
  2. Adult medicine is the primary focus of these residents, whereas besides working with geriatric internal medicine, family medicine residents are required to complete pediatric rotations as part of their residency training.
Difference Between Internal Medicine and Family Practice
References
  1. https://www.jabfm.org/content/16/6/485.short
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3767005
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Last Updated : 14 August, 2023

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21 thoughts on “Internal Medicine vs Family Practice: Difference and Comparison”

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