10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2006
Internal medicine involves only adults (general IM, not IM physicians with additional fellowship training).

Family medicine involves adults (including obs/gyn) as well as pediatrics.

The residency for both is usually 3 years long.

Does this mean the knowledge base required for FM is greater than that of IM because FM deals with a more varied patient population?

Blue Dog

Fides et ratio.
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2006
Attending Physician
Family medicine is a specialty of breadth. We're required to know something about a lot of different areas of medicine, but not necessarily to the level of detail that you'll get in an IM or peds residency. IM and peds residents also do more hospital medicine and specialty rotations compared to most FM programs. FM training is similar to emergency medicine training in that you have to know about a lot of different things, but you learn it all in the context that you'll be practicing it. It's more practical, in a sense. That being said, we all end up well-prepared for our chosen fields, despite the fact that we're learning different things in the same length of time.
About the Ads