Family Practice vs. Internal Medicine in Lake Mary

Choosing which type of doctor to go to can be confusing at times. Internal medicine practitioners, also known as internists, and family practice doctors both provide patients with long-term care. The question is which should you see as your go-to doctor? To find the answer, you should ask yourself these questions:

Are you an adult?

Internal medicine focuses on care for adults, whereas family practice provides care to people of all ages.

Do you have a specialized problem?

Internists are needed particularly when a patient has a certain medical disease or condition. These include, but are not limited to, diabetes, kidney failure, liver failure, heart disease, substance abuse and obesity. If you only need simple wellness checks, a family practice should satisfy your needs.

Do you want someone with specialized training?

One of the major differences between internal medicine and family practice is the training they receive. Internists spend three or more years learning to identify and treat a multitude of disorders in adults of all ages. Family practitioners spend three years learning about a variety of medical problems as well, however they have a much broader area of study than internists since they treat people of all ages and also familiarize themselves with a range of specialties. Overall, internists have a more specialized education than family practitioners, who reach a broader audience.

Both family practitioners and internists can serve as primary care physicians, but sometimes one is a better fit than the other. For instance, children should be seen by a family practitioner rather than an internist. While on the other hand, those with certain medical conditions would be advised to seek an internist. If you feel an internal medicine practitioner would be right for you, we encourage you to get to know our doctors and set up an appointment.

Photo Credit: Kelly L. McKerahan, D.O.

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