Many people wrongly believe family medicine and internal medicine doctors do the same thing. In fact, the two medical specialties are totally different. This article will help you understand when it’s the right time to visit a family doctor or an internal medicine one.
Family medicine doctors like Dr. Socrates Perez take care of your overall health and well-being. They evaluate the health of their patients on regular basis, usually once a year, and recommend them to visit various other medical specialists, if needed. If, for instance, you suffer from abdominal pains, and you go to your family doctor, he or she will examine you, and either send you to have some tests done, or send you to a gastroenterology specialist.
The family medicine doctor is the one who knows best your medical history, your health status, and all specific medical problems you may have. This doctor is the most qualified individual to recommend you to have various tests done, or to visit medical specialists. In addition, family practitioners will cater to your entire family, children and elderly included. In a way, family physicians are trained and qualified to cover multiple medical specialties such as internal medicine, dermatology, obstetrics, and pediatrics. They are able to determine what’s wrong with you, based on your symptoms and on your blood work results. However, they will always refer you to another medical specialist, should your problems be more severe.
Family physicians play a very important role in the prevention of various medical conditions, we well. They instruct their patients on things they should do for embracing a healthy lifestyle. They teach you the basic hygiene rules that will keep you away from doctors and hospitals. Since prevention is sometimes more important than the treatment itself, you can see how important family doctors are to large communities of people. They can prevent pandemics, they can help limiting them, and they can keep the community as healthy as possible.
As their name says, internal medicine doctors take care of your internal organs. If your liver, your stomach, or your kidneys hurt, chances are your family doctor will send you to an internal medicine specialist. He or she will examine you in great detail, will find a diagnosis for your ailment, and will recommend proper medical treatment. Internal medicine doctors cater exclusively to adults. In order to become an internal medicine doctor, one has to complete a 4-year medical school course, followed by a 3-year residency program that specializes in internal medicine. Some of them may choose to go for a more in-depth specialization, and follow another one to three years of fellowship. Like that, they can become specialists in a specific organ.
As you can see, family medicine and internal medicine are different specialties. Your family doctor is the first medical professional who sees you or your other family members in case of illness or various symptoms that make you sick. Sometimes, you may not need to see anyone else to restore your health and well-being. Some other times, you’ll have to see an internal medicine doctor or another type of specialist to get proper diagnosis and treatment.