When it comes to the world of primary care physicians, choosing the right provider for you and your family can feel daunting — especially when you have a well of pediatric, family medicine, and internal medicine doctors to choose between. 

That’s why we’re here to discuss the difference between family medicine and internal medicine providers. Both make great options if you’re looking for a primary care physician, but it’s also important to understand the difference when you’re making a decision. 

If you want to choose a family practice, our team at Healthstar Physicians Family Medicine in Newport is still accepting new patients. Give our family practice a call to get scheduled with an osteopathic family medicine provider today 

Family Medicine

These providers have completed their three-year residency program and are ready to start working as family practitioners. They have also been trained in obstetrics so they can work with a woman’s obstetrician. 

Like their name suggests, family medicine doctors work to provide care for families, ranging all the way from infants to senior patients. The role of your family medicine provider is to look and your entire body’s system in the form of general checkups and annual exams. 

If you start to have larger health problems or need something specific looked at, your family medicine provider will refer you to a specialist in that field to better assess the problem. 

All Ages 

A family practice’s primary concern is on treating all patients. This makes them a great option if you’re looking for a provider that can see you as you grow up, or if you’re looking for a clinic where the entire family can go. 

Broad Training

Since family medicine providers can treat any aged patient, this also means that they have a broad training in all ages of medicine. 

This is not to say that some family medicine providers won’t have training in specialty areas, like geriatrics. But to be a family medicine provider, that provider will want a generalized knowledge of all different conditions and issues that can affect patients of all ages. 

Family Emphasis

If you and your family visit the same provider, then you don’t have to go to two different locations or providers to get treated. This makes it especially easy when the same sickness is spreading through a family and they can all get the same medication or treatment from one family medicine provider. 

Internal Medicine

Internal medicine providers, also known as internists, complete their three years of residency but often study a subspeciality, like cardiology or gastroenterology, for a few additional years. These providers focus only on seeing adults patients with a pediatrician working with patients until they turn 18 and are old enough to visit an internal medicine provider. 

These internists can treat their patients for a variety of conditions and, like with family medicine provider, will help your coordinate with a specialist when necessary. 

Adult Patients 

As opposed to family medicine providers, internal medicine providers are solely focused on adult patients. This means that they will only see patients aged 18 and over. This is because internists have spent time focusing on the health risks and specific needs that are associated with adults, ranging from young adult to geriatric patients. 

Training Focused on Adults

Whereas training for family medicine providers is broad and focused on all ages, internal medicine providers focus on adults. This means that they have knowledge of general medical and health needs as they pertain to adults. 

Internal medicine providers also receive significant specialty training in areas like dermatology, sleep medicine, and infectious diseases, along with other subspecialities. 

Hospital Care 

Internal medicine physicians will provider outpatient care for their patients, but they will also help with inpatient care. This is because they have more in-depth training in providing comprehensive care for their patients that is focused on their unique needs.  

Family medicine providers can also provide inpatient care for their patients, but they are usually more concerned with the outpatient level of care and refer their patients to specialists for larger problems. 

Find a Family Practice You Can Trust

If you’re ready to schedule an appointment for you and your family with a family practice, choose Healthstar Physicians Family Medicine in Newport. Our entire team is here to give you and your family the best care possible!