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Difference Between Internal Medicine And Family Medicine

internal medicine vs family medicine

Internal Medicine Vs Family Medicine: Things You Should Know

If you are a medical student exploring career options in primary care, you must have been facing the crossroads of family medicine and internal medicine. Despite being part of the same specialization, both career options differ greatly. Generally, people know that family medicine provides a broad spectrum of treatment by covering all age groups, whereas internal medicine is specific to adults.

But many more differences are still untapped among common people and even for the students pursuing medicine. Therefore, we have brought you an interesting showdown called internal medicine vs family medicine to understand the differences between these two sub-specializations.

Major Differences Between Family Medicine And Internal Medicine

FactorsInternal MedicineFamily Medicine
DoctorsEmergency care and critical treatmentDay to day health care
ServicesCardiology, GastroenterologyGeneral adult care
Prevent careDisease management for adult populationHealth maintenance
Training Internal organ systemPediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Psychiatry, and Internal medicine.
Common ProceduresEndoscopies, Colonoscopies, and other diagnostic testsWell-child exams, Prenatal care, Minor surgeries
Treatment MethodologyCardiac diseases, Trauma, and Neurological disorders.Routine health care systems and General medicine
Age group18 and aboveBirth to death

Age Group

The most common difference between family medicine and internal medicine is the accountable age group. Internists are more likely to treat patients who are above 18 years old. But family medicine includes sub-branches like pediatrics and child care, which provide treatment for a wider age group starting from a few months to several years. Let’s understand the difference based on age group a bit more.

Internal Medicine For Age Group

  • Specific care for the adult group aged 18 to 65 is provided by internal medicine.
  • Internists are specialized in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of adolescents.
  • They have a comprehensive knowledge of medicinal and tolerance effects on the adult age group.

Family Medicine For Age Group

  • Treat a diverse range of patients, starting from infants to seniors.
  • Family medicine doctors are specialized in general medicine and provide comprehensive care to all age groups.
  • It provides a more family-focused approach, including pediatrics, adolescents, and geriatric care.

Internal Medicine Doctors vs Family Medicine Doctors

Internal and family medicine are the branches of common specialization known as primary care. Therefore, the foundation of these two categories is pretty much similar. However, we can find the differences easily if we go deep into the curriculum. Let’s have a wider discussion on the difference between internists and family medicine doctors.

Internal Medicine Doctors

  • Practitioners undergo a typical three-year course focusing on specialized care of diseases affecting adults.
  • More focused curriculum on emergency care and critical treatment.
  • Practice of emergency medicine and wide exposure to hospital-based care.
  • Experienced in handling critical cases like trauma, accidents, and many more.

Family Medicine Doctors

  • Family medicine is also a complete three-year course but focuses more on general care for all age groups.
  • The curriculum is more focused on common diseases and day-to-day health care.
  • Family medicine doctors have less exposure to typical hospital environments and serve our patient departments more prominently.

difference between internal medicine and family medicine

Treatment Methodology

Treatment methodology in these two specializations is diverse and can be a pinpoint differentiator between them. Internal medicine specialists must adopt more complex treatment methods than family medicine doctors. Here are some clear justifications for this note.

Methodology In Internal Medicine

  • Adopted for treating complex cases and high-risk diseases like cardiac diseases, trauma, and neurological disorders.
  • Internists are trained to make fast-paced decisions in emergency conditions like accident cases.
  • Internist specialists have a vast knowledge of life-saving drugs and the use of anesthesia.
  • Internal medicine also includes surgeries in critical situations.

Methodology In Family Medicine

  • Family medicine is oriented towards routine health care systems and general medicine.
  • Family medicine doctors also play a vital role in health education and preventive care.
  • They also take a holistic approach to ensure long-term effectiveness.
  • Family medicine doctors are also trained for community health care systems.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities are an important perspective for students who are pursuing medicine and want a stable career ahead. Generally saying, both the branches have vast career options. But there might be differences according to interests and choose subfields. Let’s have a comprehensive differentiation for it.

Internal Medicine Careers

  • Internists most often pursue career options in hospital and emergency medicine. They are involved in managing complex medical issues and coordination with specialists.
  • Internal medicine also has a wide scope for joining as sub-specialists in internal medicine departments such as cardiology, gastroenterology, and neurology.
  • Most internists join the accident care and critical care department to manage critically ill patients.

Family Medicine Careers

  • Family medicine doctors often provide consultation services to patients and other physicians.
  • Specialists in family medicine have a wide range of opportunities in community care and preventive care services at rural and urban hospitals.
  • They also have a wider scope to join outpatient departments for treating chronic yet common disorders like hypertension, diabetes, and infectious diseases.

Internal Medicine Vs Family Medicine - FAQs

  • 1. Can family medicine doctors work in hospitals, and do internal medicine doctors have opportunities for outpatient care?

    Family medicine doctors focus on providing comprehensive healthcare across all age groups, while internal medicine doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating adult diseases.

  • 2. Can family medicine doctors work in hospitals, and do internal medicine doctors have opportunities for outpatient care?

    Family medicine doctors can work in hospitals, and internal medicine doctors can provide specialized outpatient care in clinics.

  • 3. Do family medicine doctors have the option to specialize in certain areas, similar to internal medicine doctors?

    While family medicine doctors have a broad scope, some may choose to specialize in areas like sports medicine or geriatrics. Internal medicine doctors can pursue subspecialties for a more focused practice.

  • 4. How do family and internal medicine doctors contribute to preventive care and community health?

    Family medicine doctors emphasize preventive care and community health initiatives, while internal medicine doctors may contribute to preventive care and community health through specialized clinics and outreach.

  • 5. Are family medicine and internal medicine doctors involved in interdisciplinary collaboration, and how does this benefit patient care?

    Yes, family and internal medicine doctors collaborate with other healthcare professionals in interdisciplinary teams, enhancing patient care through a comprehensive and coordinated approach.

Conclusion

In summary, we can say that family medicine and internal medicine play a pivotal role in managing the healthcare system. Undoubtedly, these fields have vast differences but still have equal significance for the community. The Advanced Medical Group believes both areas will improve more with the upcoming advancements and will mark revolutionary changes for the healthcare systems.

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Fatima Shaik MD

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Fatima Shaik is a board certified internist and cardiologist. She specializes in general cardiology and heart rhythm disorders. She cares for patients at Advanced Medical Group in Jersey City and North Bergen. She also performs procedures at Jersey City Medical Center.

She completed her undergraduate education at NYU and received her MD degree for SUNY Downstate Medical Center. She completed her residency training at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center and her cardiology fellowship at New York Presbyterian Queens. She went on for advanced training in electrophysiology at Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ.
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She is fluent in English and Hindi.
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Dr. Avhad is a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology and a member of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

Dr. Avhad has been in practice in Central and South Jersey for more than 12years. She is a caring physician with expertise and experience in treating a spectrum of Pain conditions like chronic back and neck pain, herniated discs/sciatica with minimally invasive interventional procedures.

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Radhika Patel, PA-C

Physician Assistant located in Jersey City, NJ

About Patel
Graduating summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a BA in Biological Sciences and minor in Spanish, Radhika Patel obtained experiences in outpatient medicine as well as in emergency medical services prior to pursuing a career as a physician assistant. She graduated from the Rutgers University Physician Assistant program with a Master of Science after training in cardiology, internal medicine, and urgent care, among many other fields at various hospitals and private practices throughout the state of New Jersey. She is a proud member of the team at Advanced Garden State Cardiology and looks forward to meeting with patients each day in our Jersey City office.

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Enrique Chappilliquen, PA-C

Physician Assistant located in Union City, NJ & Jersey City, NJ

About Dr. Chappilliquen
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As a Hispanic, he proudly serves his community with passion and devotion. Being able to communicate fluently with his patients allows him the opportunity to provide excellent medical care to the Hispanic community in Union City and Jersey City. Also, sharing the same language, culture, and values as his patients allows him to connect at a personal level with his patients. Enrique continues to develop his knowledge and skills constantly to continue satisfying the needs of his patients.

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Dr. Samaniego provides comprehensive foot and ankle care at Advanced Medical Group in Jersey City, Union City, and West New York. His specialized surgical training includes

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Samaniego is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and the American Podiatric Medical Association. He keeps up to date on the latest surgical techniques and available technology in foot and ankle care.

Prior to joining Advanced Medical Group, Samaniego studied public healthcare in Zambia and assisted in providing care to the local community. He has also presented research at the annual meeting of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Samaniego achieved the highest rank of Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America and volunteered with Troop 454 for scouts with special needs and the Freehold Public Library. In his free time, Samaniego volunteers with his local church community service and youth programs.

Samaniego resides in Jersey City, NJ and maintains his health by cycling and interval training several times a week. He explains, “Healthy doctors inspire healthy patients. I follow the same advice I give my patients, and I read constantly to become a better physician every day. I encourage my patients to ask questions and learn about the cause of their symptoms. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Dr. Merwin Richard, MD. A cardiologist

Merwin Richard, MD

Cardiologist located in Jersey City, NJ & Union City, NJ

As an established board-certified internist and cardiologist, Merwin Richard, MD, has a reputation for helping patients with the most complex of health conditions. He cares for patients at Advanced Medical Group in West New York, Jersey City, and Union City, New Jersey.

Richard began his undergraduate education in medicine at Stanley Medical College in India. He earned his doctor of medicine degree from Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University before relocating to New York City.

After completing both his internship and internal medicine residency through the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Richard went through advanced fellowship training. He completed a cardiovascular fellowship at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, then went on to finish a second fellowship in interventional cardiology through Mount Sinai School of Medicine (now Icahn).

 

Throughout his career, Richard has stayed involved in numerous research projects and previously served as a professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University). Richard went on to become the director of the first cardiac catheterization and interventional laboratory in Jersey City and has extensive training in vein treatments.

To ensure he continues staying up to date with the latest research and techniques, Richard maintains his board memberships. He’s board certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology.

Being fluent in English,  Spanish, and Tamil gives Richard the opportunity to communicate with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Richard is currently accepting new patients.