Family Medicine vs Internal Medicine

Family Medicine vs Internal Medicine

by Crystal (SU)

If you have health concerns, are sick, or want to find your go-to doctor, you may be wondering whether you should see a physician who’s in family medicine or internal medicine. While both fields include fantastic primary care physicians, the biggest difference is the type of care they provide and who they serve.


Focus & Who They Serve


There are several basic differences in the training and patient care activities of these types of doctors. Basic training for both family medicine and internal medicine practitioners is three years. However, internal medicine focuses only on adults, with education centered on typical and general medical conditions, along with other internal medicine subspecialties. Internal medicine doctors must spend at least one year caring for hospitalized patients, and three months of work in intensive/critical care settings.


Family medicine training is broader than internal medicine since it involves training in the care of children. With their broader skill set and education, family medicine physicians can focus on meeting the particular medical needs of people in their area. Although the depth of their training in medical issues facing adults may be less than for internal medicine physicians, family doctors can treat the whole family: adults and children. Family physicians are specifically trained to coordinate care for their patients with specialists when needed.


Which Doctor is Right for You: Internal or Family Medicine


You’ll want to select either an internal medicine or family medicine practitioner based on your individual medical needs, as well as the potential needs of your family or future family.


An internal medicine physician cares for and treats adults only. A family practitioner, on the other hand, treats adults and children – thus, is like a pediatrician and internal medicine specialist, combined.


If you’re an adult looking for a primary care physician, you have two good options. If you’re looking for a primary care provider that can see your whole family (including children), you may want to opt for the family physician. 


It’s incredibly important to have a trustworthy and experienced medical team by your side. Lynx Healthcare offers a variety of medical care services, including general health care, pain management, medispas, and much more. To make an appointment at one of the Lynx Healthcare clinics in Oregon, Yakima, Tri-Cities, or Goldendale, call us at (509) 591-0070, or contact our Spokane clinic at (509) 321-4575. We look forward to helping you receive the care you deserve.