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Internal Medicine/General & Family Practice

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medical22

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What exactly is internal medicine? How does it differ from being a general practitioner? Is family practice, general practice, and primary care the same things?
 

ckent

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Internal medicine: Adult (>18) medicine. Internists can subspecialize and become Cardiologists, endocrinologists, gastroenterologists, etc. No OB. Considered more academic.
Family medicine: All ages, can also include OB work. Cannot subspecialize. Generally, considered less "academic".
 

Bikini Princess

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Originally posted by medical22
What exactly is internal medicine? How does it differ from being a general practitioner? Is family practice, general practice, and primary care the same things?

internal medicine (often just called "medicine") is thought of as more scientific than family practice; often people choose to specialize after their IM residency. Of all the residences, i understand that internal medicine is probably the most comphrensive. That is, it trains you & gives a clinical understanding of almost all the body systems in detail, as opposed to, for example, opthamology, which focuses mainly on the eye. There are likely some people who would probably say it's the closest thing to being a "real" doctor.

Some would say that family practice, peds, and ob/gyn also give u an in-depth understanding of all the body systems, I don't want to slight these people. All of the primary care fields have some training somewhat similiar to internal medicine. I will say that internal medicine residencies are somewhat more competitive than family practice, especially at places like mass general.
 

secretstang19

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Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that a "primary care" physician must do a residency in one of three things: internal medicine, pediatrics, or family medicine.
 
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