With so many similarities one might ask what the difference is between family medicine and internal medicine. They are very similar so the differences come down so small nuances. Both are primary care physicians and all primary care physicians fall into one of the two categories.
Internal medicine only deals with adults. Because an internal medicine physician’s educations focused only on adults the training in adult medical issues is comprehensive and deep. Internists develop an expertise that allows them to diagnose a wide variety of diseases that commonly affect adults. Internists are able to manage complex medical situations when multiple conditions may affect a single individual. Internal medicine physicians are especially well equipped to provide primary care to adults particularly for medically complicated patients.
Family medicine physicians deal with individuals throughout the entirety of they life. Because they deal with a wide range of ages their education has to be broader. Family physicians deal with a wide range of health issues. The depth of knowledge of adult issues isn’t as great as the internist but the ability to continuously care for patients for such a long period of times is great. Family medicine doctors are there to help with health maintenance and they function as a primary care physician.
Both categories have their benefits. If you are looking for a lifelong physician, someone you can take your kids to visit, someone you can grow old with, and get to know rather well, I’d suggest finding a family physician. If you are an adult and has a possibly complicated disease or you are looking for a doctor who can service your adult health needs, I’d suggest finding a internist.