Special training in primary care and other specialties
Family medicine and internal medicine doctors go through the same basic medical education. The main difference between the two medical fields is:
- Family medicine doctors care for patients of all ages, while internal medicine doctors care for only patients age 18 and older.
- Family medicine doctors have more training in obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, dermatology, pediatrics, and minor surgical and emergency care.
- Some family medicine doctors have additional training in geriatrics, sports medicine and other specialties.
Range of treatments and services
No matter what your medical concern is, your family medicine doctor is trained to provide a full range of medical care for you and your family members. If your doctor believes your condition requires the extra training of a specialist, he or she will refer you to one. Family medicine doctors provide the following wide range of services:
- Preventive care such as vaccinations, screenings for disease and health education
- Care for short-term illnesses like flu, bronchitis or infections
- Management of chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure
- Medical emergency care for minor injuries like muscle strains and deep cuts
- Minor office procedures like skin biopsies and joint injections
- Care for anxiety and depression
- Women’s gynecology care and family planning counseling