Choosing a doctor might seem like a simple task, but do you know if you need a general practice, or a family practice? Or, would you be better off with an internal doctor? There are a number of different kinds of family doctors, and knowing the differences between them can help you decide which kind will be of the most help to you. You might find your ideal family doctors in the family practice, general practice, or in internal medicine. Ultimately, it comes down to the type of treatment that you need.
Your family physician is primarily concerned with preventative medicine for your entire family, from birth to old age. Family doctors tend not to have specializations, although they generally have the same level of education and training as general practitioners. The internal doctor vs family doctor choice must be made if someone in your family suffers from an acute or chronic condition, and needs specialized treatment. Generally, family doctors will refer patients in need of more specialized care to an internist. If your family is generally in good health, and is not at a high risk for any acute or chronic diseases, then you may never need another doctor beyond your family doctor.
Choosing general practice vs family practice doctors comes down to the level of care that your family needs. A general practice doctor has generally attained some specialization that gives them a better background from which to prescribe treatments for outstanding medical conditions. Some people consider general practice and family practice doctors to be no different from one another, so it is always a good idea to talk to the clinic and find out how they define their doctors.
Sometimes also called an internist, an internal doctor has more training and education around caring for adults that are facing some disease. They might be specialized in one organ system over another, and are generally required when a coordinated and active treatment plan is needed.
Family doctors may not be able to provide after hour care, so it is important to know which clinics in your area will be able to meet your after hours or emergency needs. Approximately 82.6% of Americans, and 92.6% of children have been in contact with medical professionals this past year, according to the CDC. If you are unsure of which medical practice is best for your family, a friend or family member may have a recommendation for either a family practice, general practice, or an internist. For more, read this link.