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What Is The Difference Between Family Doctors And Internal Medicine Doctors?

Difference Between Family And Internal Doctors

Family Doctors Vs. Internal Medicine Doctors: Everything You Need To Know? 

Primary care in the Healthcare industry is one of the most promising sectors that provides vast opportunities. It has two major segments: family doctors and internal medicine doctors. Both job alternatives are within the same specialization but differ in several ways. People are generally aware that internal medicine treats adults specifically, while family medicine treats patients of all ages. However, a great deal of variation still exists among them. A clear knowledge of the differences can help you choose the right career path and help people find the right doctors. Therefore, to help you, we have brought a comprehensive differentiation between internal doctors and family medicine doctors. 

The Key Differences Between Family Doctors and Internal Medicine Doctors 

Patient Demographics 

The most frequent distinction between internal medicine doctors and family medicine doctors is the responsible age group. Patients older than eighteen are more likely to be treated by internists. However, subspecialties within family medicine, such as pediatrics and child care, handle patients of all ages, from a few months to several years. Let’s examine the differences according to age group in greater detail. 

Internal medicine 

  • Internal medicine doctors deal with patients coming under the age group over 18. 
  • Adolescent diagnosis, prevention, and treatment are the areas of expertise for internists. 
  • They are well-versed on the effects of medications and tolerance on the adult population. 

Family Practice 

  • Attend to a wide spectrum of patients, from young children to elderly people. 
  • Family medicine physicians treat patients of all ages with comprehensive treatment and a focus on general medicine. 
  • This method is more family-focused and covers childhood, adolescent, and geriatric care. 

Specialization Areas 

Primary care refers to the shared specialty areas of internal and family medicine. As a result, these two categories share a very similar base. If we delve further into the curriculum, we can quickly identify the disparities. Let’s talk more broadly about the distinctions between family physicians and internists. 

Physicians In Internal Medicine 

  • Typically, practitioners complete a three-year program that focuses on adult illness specialization. 
  • Curriculum with a stronger emphasis on critical care and emergency care. 
  • Emergency medicine practice and extensive hospital-based healthcare exposure. 
  • Capable of managing complex cases, including trauma, accidents, and many more. 

Physicians in Family Medicine 

  • A full three-year program in family medicine also emphasizes general care for all age groups. 
  • The curriculum places more emphasis on common illnesses and routine medical treatment. 
  • Family medicine physicians are more visible in our patient departments and have less exposure to traditional hospital situations. 

FactorsInternal MedicineFamily Medicine
Age groupInternal medicine doctors treat patients above the age group of 18. Therefore, pediatrics is not a part of Internal medicine.Family medicine provides comprehensive care for all age groups, from newborns to old age.
Severity Of DiseasesInternal medicine doctors must tackle chronic diseases and mainly participate in emergency care.Family medicine doctors are mostly involved in general and preventive care practices. Therefore, the severity of cases is comparatively low in family medicine.
Versatility Of PracticeInternal medicine doctors critically practice emergency medicine and surgical therapies associated with treating critical illness in adult age.In this case, family medicine doctors find a wider scope in practice as they get vast exposure to different medical specialties.
Career OpportunitiesInternal medicine lays a foundation for a career in critical care, like emergency medicine and surgery. Family medicine provides scope for students in general medicine and preventive care.
SpecializationsInternal medicine specializes in cardiology, hepatology, neurology, and many more categories.Family medicine generally has specialization options under medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, and other preventive care operations.

Career Opportunities 

Students who wish to pursue medicine and have a secure future should consider their employment options. In general, there are numerous job choices in both fields. However, there may be variations based on interests and selected subfields. Let us have a thorough distinction for it. 

Internal Medicine Doctors 

  • The majority of internists choose to work in emergency and hospital medicine. 
  • They coordinate with specialists and manage complicated medical situations. 
  • There is also a great deal of opportunity for internal medicine subspecialists to join departments like neurology, gastrointestinal, and cardiology. 
  • To care for severely sick patients, most internists work in the critical care and accident departments. 

Family Doctors 

  • Family medicine physicians frequently offer advice to other medical professionals and patients. 
  • Family medicine specialists can choose from various community and preventative care possibilities in rural and urban hospitals. 
  • Additionally, they can work in outpatient departments that treat common but chronic conditions, including infectious illnesses, diabetes, and hypertension. 

Medical Practice 

Practice is one of the fields that comprehensively differentiates family medicine and internal medicine. Both fields have specific requirements and methodologies for patient handling. Let’s have a wider view of it. 

Family Medicine 

  • Family medicine practice includes general medicine and preventive care operations. 
  • The practice also includes vast studies about generic medicines and community care. 
  • Surgery and emergency visits are minimal. 
  • Family medicine practices provide numerous specialization options starting from pediatrics to community care. 

Internal Medicine 

  • Internal medicine practices generally include emergency care and treatment methodologies for chronic diseases. 
  • Internal medicine specialists need to have a comprehensive understanding of accidental care and medicines used in critical care. 
  • Surgery is one of the common parts of internal medicine practices. 
  • They have a narrow bandwidth in terms of specializations in comparison to family medicine.


In conclusion, family and internal medicine are essential to the administration of the healthcare system. These fields are just as important to the community despite their obvious disparities. The Advanced Medical Group thinks that both fields will see significant improvements due to the impending developments and that the healthcare systems will undergo a radical transformation.

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Fatima Shaik MD


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.
She is trained in device implantation, SVT and atrial fibrillation ablations as well as watchman implantations.
She is fluent in English and Hindi.
She is currently accepting new patients.

Reema Parikh, DPT

Physical Therapist

Reema Parikh received two bachelor’s degrees from Long Island University and Touro College, and graduated as a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Touro College in 2013. In her early years as a DPT, she received an award for excellence in research and taught a course for the national physical therapy licensing board exam. Dr. Parikh has a passion for helping patients on their health journey; she is experienced in all ages and care of patients, ranging from pediatric care to geriatric care. She has hosted live and virtual workouts for varying levels of physical activity, incorporating mobility and strength segments. Dr. Parikh has furthered her education by receiving certifications in many aspects of physical therapy and holistic care including Nutritional PT, Restorative Yoga, Pilates, and Reiki.

Ms. Maria Avila

Maria Avila, NP

Nurse Practitioner

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Aishwarya Parab, PT

Physical Therapist

Aishwarya Parab received her Bachelors in Physiotherapy in India in 2015 and furthered her studies at Long Island University where she graduated with her Masters in Exercise Science, Sports, and Nutrition in 2019. She has experience working with various conditions, including herniated disks, spondylolysis, and post-operative mobility issues. Aishwarya has taken courses to expand her knowledge in the physical therapy world, including spinal mobility courses, neuromuscular reeducation courses, and getting a certificate with Revolution in Motion. Aishwarya finds it exceedingly rewarding to build a long-term relationship with her patients and shows commitment towards providing structured and effective healthcare.

Dr. Prajakta Avhad

Prajakta Avhad, MD

Pain Management located in Franklin Township, Somerset, NJ & East Brunswick, NJ

About Dr. Avhad
Dr. Prajakta Avhad is double board-certified in Pain Management and Anesthesiology. Dr. Avhad received her M.B.B.S. from MIMER, India, and completed her Surgical internship and Anesthesia residency at Brookdale University Hospital in Brooklyn, New York during which she interned at Memorial Sloan Kettering, St. Luke’s Roosevelt, and Staten Island Hospital.

She then completed her Pain Management Fellowship from Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

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.

Dr. Avhad and her family reside in New Jersey. She is an avid gardener active with her kids, dog, and garden if not tending to her broad and exotic orchid collection.

Radhika Patel PA-C

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.

Enrique D Chappilliquen Lucio, PA-C

Enrique Chappilliquen, PA-C

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

About Dr. Chappilliquen
Graduated from Mercy College Physician Assistant Program with a Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Enrique has extensive experience in the medical field for more than 6 years.

He has clinical experience and training in internal medicine, cardiology, general and vascular surgery, hematology, oncology, and emergency medicine. He joined Dr. Richard’s practice in October of 2016. Since then, he has been a dedicated medical provider working in the Union City office and the Hematology/Oncology office in Jersey City as well.

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.

Dr Christopher Samaniego, DPM

Christopher Samaniego, DPM

Podiatrist located in Jersey City, NJ, Union City, NJ, and West New York, NJ

Christopher Samaniego, DPM, is originally from Freehold, New Jersey. He attended college at Messiah College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Biology. He earned his podiatric medical degree from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, PA and completed his surgical residency training at Detroit Medical Center in Detroit, MI. 

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

  • Bunion
  • Hammertoe correction
  • Diabetic foot care
  • Fungal nail care
  • Plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, orthotics
  • Gout, warts, neuroma care
  • Flat feet and high arched feet
  • Foot and ankle trauma
  • Adult and paediatric foot conditions
  • Arthritis of the foot and ankle
  • Arthroscopy, joint replacement, minimally invasive techniques

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.