• Set Yourself Up For Success Webinar

    October 6, 2021 at 2 PM Eastern/11 AM Pacific
    SDN and Osmosis are teaming up to help you get set up for success this school year! We'll be covering study tips, healthy habits, and meeting mentors.

    Register Now!

  • Funniest Story on the Job Contest Starts Now!

    Contest starts now and ends September 27th. Winner will receive a special user banner and $10 Amazon Gift card!

    JOIN NOW
  • Site Updates Coming Next Week

    Site updates are coming next week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Click the button below to learn more!

    LEARN MORE

IM vs FM

palipad123

Full Member
5+ Year Member
May 21, 2015
19
2
126
  1. Medical Student
I am a 4th year us md student who will be applying to match 2021. I am trying to decide between family medicine and internal medicine. I know I want to work in primary care ( so I will definitely not specialize if I do internal medicine). However, once I am an attending I want to work like 4 days a week ( or even better 3 12 hour clinic days). But based on the many posts that I have seen on sdn and reddit, it seems like this flexibility is more common in family medicine rather than IM primary care. Do you think I can easily find some clinic job with this flexibility in a location I want ( I do not want to be near any big cities. My ideal location to live in would be something like the suburbs of plano texas or Raleigh NC). I am asking because I feel like I will have a higher chance of matching close to my family if I chose internal medicine compared to family medicine. However, if internal medicine does not provide that flexibility than I would rather choose family medicine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

PugsAndHugs

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2014
504
763
166
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Pick FM if you want only outpatient clinic work only with some peds and obgyn.

Pick IM if you want both outpatient and inpatient with no peds/obgyn and option to specialize.

Sounds like FM is for you.
 
About the Ads

palipad123

Full Member
5+ Year Member
May 21, 2015
19
2
126
  1. Medical Student
thanks everyone for the responses. There is no chance that I will specialize. Also I am fine either taking care of kids or not so that is not a big factor. Also i will not be doing OB if I go FM but I am fine just doing some months of it in residency. The main factor for me now is if it is relativly easy to find an IM primary care job that allows you to work 3 12 hours clinic days or 4 days a week. If it is relativly easy than I would choose IM because there is a higher chance of matching close to my family. However, if it is more common in FM than I would choose FM.
 

palipad123

Full Member
5+ Year Member
May 21, 2015
19
2
126
  1. Medical Student
IM leaves the possibility of specialising later if plans change whereas with FM you’re essentially “stuck”.
Thank you for your response. Based on your knowledge of the IM primary care job market, is it easy to find an IM primary care job that allows you to work 3 12 hours clinic days or 4 days a week ( near decent locations like plano texas or raleigh nc). Also would the salary still be same since technically you will be working similar patient hours but it is just concentrated in fewer days. Thank you so much for your time.
 

VA Hopeful Dr

Senior Member
Volunteer Staff
15+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2004
25,059
43,578
426
  1. Attending Physician
If you are 100% certain you want to do outpatient primary care, do FM. The training prepares you better for that and while the job market for both is excellent FM has an edge in that regard.

Most jobs want you to work a certain number of hours, how you do that within reason is up to you. I have 1 partner who takes every other Friday/Monday off - basically every other weekend is a 4 day weekend (and is still 4 days/week just different days off every other week). One who works 7:30-3 every day and another who works 4 days a week 9 hour days.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

MissRibeye

Floreant Dendritae!
2+ Year Member
Mar 6, 2019
213
392
116
  1. Medical Student
Both IM primary care physicians I shadowed worked 3.5-4 days a week for what it's worth. It's definitely possible. Also remember that if you're a good candidate for any job you are applying for, you can always negotiate. This is something I didn't realize when I was younger. If they want you, they will try to make it work.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

EmergDO

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2016
441
798
166
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Thank you for your response. Based on your knowledge of the IM primary care job market, is it easy to find an IM primary care job that allows you to work 3 12 hours clinic days or 4 days a week ( near decent locations like plano texas or raleigh nc). Also would the salary still be same since technically you will be working similar patient hours but it is just concentrated in fewer days. Thank you so much for your time.

There should be absolutely no difference in the sort of schedules you can have with IM or FM. Most of the jobs will even say they will accept either IM or FM boards because the markets are basically the same. The difference is that very few IM grads go into primary care while almost all FM grads do.

If you are certain you don't want to specialize or be a hospitalist I would go with FM.
 

Oedipa Maas

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2019
529
1,608
126
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Both IM primary care physicians I shadowed worked 3.5-4 days a week for what it's worth. It's definitely possible. Also remember that if you're a good candidate for any job you are applying for, you can always negotiate. This is something I didn't realize when I was younger. If they want you, they will try to make it work.

I also had experience with this. The IM doc I scribed for was nearing the end of her career and was doing 3.5 outpatient days a week. The whole practice was run by a big box healthcare brand and only had docs that were working part time, but I don't know the specifics of the others schedules. Some were relatively fresh out of residency, some were close to retirement, all had families and hobbies that they were enjoying in their spare time. This was in a suburb of the Phoenix greater area so not necessarily OP's target area, but it was not quite a big city but not quite rural either.

Edit: I also wanted to add that she had no shortage of patients. Some even specifically sought the practice out because they were told by one of their specialists that their primary care doc should be an internist due to their medical history. Also there are IM residencies with "primary care tracks" out there now that you should look into!
 
Last edited:

FutureInternist

Probationary Status
10+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2007
1,896
1,089
276
Where Bugs Bunny should have made a left turn
  1. Attending Physician
Thank you for your response. Based on your knowledge of the IM primary care job market, is it easy to find an IM primary care job that allows you to work 3 12 hours clinic days or 4 days a week ( near decent locations like plano texas or raleigh nc). Also would the salary still be same since technically you will be working similar patient hours but it is just concentrated in fewer days. Thank you so much for your time.

IfI had to do clinic, I would shoot myself in the head... ;-).
I am a hospitalist so don’t really know about job market.
Some friends do do FP as outpt and based on very limited knowledge, you do seem to lose out on lots of bonuses unless you are working at a certain pointage (which varies with the practice)
 
About the Ads

allantois

Conversation Starter
7+ Year Member
Jan 28, 2013
4,226
5,140
226
  1. Other Health Professions Student
12 hour days outpatient sounds like UC land. While both FMs and IMs staff UC, it's probably better to have training in peds if you will work in that setting
 

cj_cregg

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2014
719
4,122
226
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Great tips above, although would add that if you want to do primary care, FM training will prepare you better for procedures as well as gyn/women's health. FM docs are much more likely to do minor procedures like joint injections, skin biopsies and excisions, I&Ds, lac repairs, casting/splinting, and so on, and often have surgery and sports medicine rotations to prepare for this that IM docs don't usually have. FM also has much more robust training in women's health in general, not just OB. I know some IM docs who will refer out to gyn for stuff like pap smears and birth control. FM docs usually do all this themselves, including IUD and nexplanon insertions/removals, and some also do things like endometrial biopsies and colpos in the office too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Sleepingdoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
May 24, 2019
465
433
116
How does residency compare for both of them?

3 years for both:
FM- more clinic time, more broad, more or less equal time in OB, pedes, adult medicine (although some programs are more equipped to handle one more than another)
IM- Mostly hospital work... Adult medicine only- electives in more specialized field... You can sub-specialize, is the advantage of IM.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
D

deleted1049832

3 years for both:
FM- more clinic time, more broad, more or less equal time in OB, pedes, adult medicine (although some programs are more equipped to handle one more than another)
IM- Mostly hospital work... Adult medicine only- electives in more specialized field... You can sub-specialize, is the advantage of IM.

How are the hours/intensity? Or is it more program-dependent?
 

cookiegrub

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Oct 8, 2016
206
158
116
  1. Medical Student
thanks everyone for the responses. There is no chance that I will specialize. Also I am fine either taking care of kids or not so that is not a big factor. Also i will not be doing OB if I go FM but I am fine just doing some months of it in residency. The main factor for me now is if it is relativly easy to find an IM primary care job that allows you to work 3 12 hours clinic days or 4 days a week. If it is relativly easy than I would choose IM because there is a higher chance of matching close to my family. However, if it is more common in FM than I would choose FM.
In rural areas and even cities you are bound to find groups offering this. There are several rural sites that are desperate for primary care doctors. I wouldn't worry about the job prospects but more on whether or not this is the fit for you. I know you probably know/guess this but once you become FM doctor you can literally select the type of population you want to deal with. My rotation was pretty nonrepresentative as my physician took only the older generation (I don't have a problem with that but with later rotations and covid I never worked with kids or adolescents...). Other FM doctors have obesity clinics where they focus on weight loss. Essentially, the world is your oyster and if you can imagine your preference, I'm sure you will find a niche to practice in provided that you know the limitations around other specialization skills outside of FM.
 

cj_cregg

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2014
719
4,122
226
  1. Resident [Any Field]
How are the hours/intensity? Or is it more program-dependent?
On the whole, because most FM programs are more outpatient focused and most IM programs are more inpatient focused, IM programs will be more intense. I'm sure there are chill programs and work horse programs in both. Speaking to FM, which I'm in - highly variable from program to program. Some do prepare you pretty well for hospitalist work, OB, etc. and those will be a lot of 80 hour weeks, getting called in on days off for continuity deliveries, trying to juggle clinic and inpatient responsibilities on the same day, etc. Others are geared towards primary care and give you just enough inpatient to get by, so for instance at some programs the residents just straight up don't do nights on inpatient, don't really do continuity deliveries, etc.

Also, this is the rest of your career we're talking about - IM and FM are different enough training for outpatient care that it's worth whatever 3 years it takes to train for the job you actually want to do. If you want to take care of the whole life span, if you want a younger patient population on the whole, if you want to do more procedures and know your way around a speculum, do FM. If you don't want to deal with screaming toddlers or don't care to ever look at another cervix, do IM.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
About the Ads
This thread is more than 1 year old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.