When choosing a primary care provider, you may find yourself deciding between an internal medicine physician and a family doctor. Finding the right type of care to meet your needs comes down to understanding the differences between these two approaches. Although there is some overlap in treatments offered, there are also key differences between these professionals’ scope of care and training. Explore these differences below to make an informed decision.
Internal Medicine Physicians vs. Family Practitioners
Internists tend to focus primarily on adult care. While they can provide treatment for chronic conditions, their main approach to medicine is disease prevention. They oversee a patient’s overall wellness and identify risk factors for certain conditions. They can also diagnose and refer patients as needed.
Internal medicine physicians may also choose to specialize in a specific illness or part of the body. Subspecialties can include infectious disease, geriatric care, or immunology. In addition to going through medical school and a three-year residency, specialists also require one to four years of additional training.
Family doctors can treat both children and adults. In fact, these physicians can treat children of all ages, from newborns through adulthood, and are considered to have a broader scope of focus on treatment. Like internists, they also focus on disease prevention and the diagnosis and treatment of chronic illnesses. However, they typically don’t have a specialty and instead must refer patients to specialists who are experts in a specific area as needed.
The internal medicine physicians from Fairview Clinic, P.C. in Dothan, AL, are the area’s trusted source for comprehensive health care services for patients aged 13 and up. Offering laboratory testing, health screenings, preventive care, and infectious disease treatment, their physicians are trained and equipped to oversee a broad range of wellness needs in teens and adults. Learn more about their doctors by visiting their website, or call (334) 794-3192 to schedule an appointment.