What is the Difference between a Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Doctor?

What is the Difference between a Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Doctor?

Adults can see a family medicine doctor or an internal medicine doctor for preventive care, chronic disease management, regular screenings and more. Both type of doctors help you protect and improve your health. But their training and the types of patients they see are different. Read on to understand what’s best for you.

Type of Patients

The primary care or family medicine doctor sees all types of patients, from infants to end-of-life care and often members of the same family. S/he offers wellness guidance, provides treatment and monitoring when you’re ill, and refers you to specialists, if you need any.

The internal medicine doctor, or internist, sees adults — patients from 18 years and older.

Types of Care

Family physicians provide comprehensive care, addressing acute issues that come up, and some may also perform minor procedures.

Internal medicine doctors provide a wide scope of care, including preventive care as well as the treatment of complex adult diseases — like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Benefits to Patients

A family medicine doctor can see how relationships between family members impact their health and also connect within different life stages.

Internists offer an added advantage since they are specially trained to deal with the complexities of patients who have multiple or uncontrolled medical problems. They also help patients who are facing trouble getting a diagnosis.


After medical school, family doctors complete a 3-year residency that includes outpatient care, community medicine and inpatient care.

Internal medicine doctors complete a 3-year residency after medical school. During their training, they also train in critical care and specialize in one of the many specialties, like cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, substance abuse and more.

If you are looking for the best internal medicine doctors or pain management doctors, call Pacific Medical Care at 619-333-8114 Today. All you have to do is make a phone call and the doctor will be at your doorstep within a short while! The San Diego internal medicine doctors at Pacific Medical Care are Board Certified, highly skilled, compassionate and knowledgeable.

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