When you’re dealing with doctors, the medical terms can be quite confusing. Which doctor do I see? What exactly do they do? Today we will tackle the difference between family practice vs internal medicine physicians.
Family Practice Vs Internal Medicine: A Breakdown of Both Practices
What’s the difference between family practice vs internal medicine practice? Well, for simplification purposes the difference is who the doctor treats. An internal medicine practitioner strictly treats adults, while a family practice doctor cares for patients of all ages.
Family Practice Physician
A family practice physician addresses a large breadth of topics including but not limited to pediatrics, adult medicine, maternity care, gynecology, skin care of the surgical patient, emergency care, sports medicine, mental health, diagnostic imaging, and nuclear medicine.
Basically the a family practice physician encompasses all ages, both sexes, and alignments of all manifestation.
A great benefit for seeing a family practice physician is the comprehensive and continuing care that they tend to provide.
Internal Medicine Physician
Internal medicine physicians are great as well. They focus specifically on adult health and some even see older adolescents. However, they do not treat pediatric patients or neonates.
Like family practice physicians, internal medicine doctors are exposed to a wide variety of medicinal practices. But, a trend is showing that many internists are focusing sub-specializing in a very specific field, allowing them to be more knowledgeable in their chosen area of specialty. Some of these fields can include:
- Infectious disease
- Sleep medicine
- Allergy and immunology
- Office Gynecology
- Palliative medicine
- Rehabilitation medicine
- and sports medicine, just to name a few.
Family Practice vs Internal Medicine: Which Doctor is Right for Me?
Family practice and internal medicine practices both have pros. The decision in choosing a family practice vs internal medicine physician lies in what’s best for you.
Let’s say you have a teenager, a middle schooler, and an infant (hey- it happens). You may want to see a family practice physician that can treat everyone in your family including you and your spouse. Or perhaps you have many ailments and only one day off of work a family practice physician that does a variety of treatments under one roof may be the most convenient for you. If you are looking for care and competency, studies show that family practices with a team-based approach tend to rank high in patient satisfaction and cost-effectiveness.
On the flip side, an internist specializing in a particular medical sub category may be attractive to you as they can offer in-depth insight on their field of study.
If you are visiting a hospital, there is a good chance you are seeing an internist as a large majority are working in a hospital setting.
Either can be effective, just choose the right one for your situation.
How Should I Choose A Family Practice Physician?
If a family practice physician is the right choice for you, take some time to select a doctor that will give you the best care possible. In order to ensure you’re getting the right family physician for you follow these guidelines:
Choose one in your insurance provider.
You’re already paying for medical insurance. Capitalize on your plan by selecting a provider in your network. Many insurance companies have websites that make it easy to discover which offices are in-network. You can also call the doctor’s office directly and ask if they take your insurance.
The world is getting smaller and smaller, which in this case is a pro. You can ask all sorts of people to recommend a good doctor. Ask your friends on Facebook, check Yelp, and don’t forget to look at the doctor’s webpage for success stories. If they are good, they will have raving testimonials satisfied patients.
There is nothing worse than waiting a week to see your doctor when you’re lying on the couch in a sweat or spending more time in the bathroom than the bedroom. Ask the doctor’s office how quickly a patient can come in after they call. Here’s a hint: you’ll want one that can see you the same day or next day.
You don’t want to sit in the doctor’s office for an indefinite amount of time, sick or not. Ask your doctor’s office how long you should expect to wait to see the doctor – make sure they give you a time for the waiting room AND the examine room.
At Arrowhead Health Centers we guarantee same day or next day appointments. We also have respect for your time by aiming to see you within 15 minutes of your scheduled appointment time. We accept a wide variety of insurance coverage and we provide treatment for a vast majority of ailments under one roof in six locations. That means you get the best coverage within the least amount of time and you don’t have to drive all over the valley to see doctors that don’t know what the other is doing.
The bottom line is that we believe that put people first and people get healthy. Let us take care of you and your family. We’d be honored to care for you all. Call us or schedule an appointment online today.