Washington Heights, New York
521 W 181st St
New York, NY 10033
(347) 756-6000

How Are Family Medicine & Internal Medicine Different? December 13, 2018

Washington Heights, Manhattan
How Are Family Medicine & Internal Medicine Different?, Manhattan, New York

Everyone should have a primary care physician they trust — a go-to doctor for check-ups, sick visits, and medical advice for healthy living. But, should you choose a doctor who specializes in internal medicine, or is a family medicine physician best for you? Here’s how to decide.

What’s the Difference Between Internal & Family Medicine Doctors?

family medicineAn internal medicine doctor is a physician who only sees adults. They may also have additional training in a subspecialty like infectious disease or endocrinology. They’ll also have training in several areas like psychiatry, geriatrics, and gynecology to help them serve various patients’ needs. It’s likely that an internal medicine professional will also be trained in caring for patients in a hospital setting.

Family medicine doctors provide care for children and adults. Their training will include how to care for the unique needs of children’s health, including developmental stages and child behavior. Your family medicine doctor can become the hub for the coordination of your medical care among the specialists you need for any conditions you may have.

Which Type of Primary Care Doctor Should You Choose?

As an adult, you can see either type of doctor. If you have children and you’d like everyone in your family to develop a relationship with the same physician, a family doctor can meet everyone’s needs. This can make it easier to coordinate appointments. It also provides a consistent care experience.

If you have a chronic condition or specific medical concerns, an internal medicine doctor who specializes in your needs could be your best choice. For example, an internal medicine doctor who has a subspecialty in endocrinology could help a patient manage diabetes without having to see — or pay extra out-of-pocket costs to — a specialist. Whichever type of physician you choose, it’s crucial to visit at least once a year for a check-up — even if you’re feeling perfectly healthy.


181 Street Urgent Care Center is a bilingual family medicine and urgent care provider serving the Washington Heights and Upper Manhattan, NY, areas. Their compassionate doctors and nurses take your health personally, and you can rely on them to offer the care you need to live your best life. Open seven days a week, the staff is there for you when you need them most. Drop in for urgent medical care, call (347) 756-6000 to schedule an appointment, or send a message online with your questions.