DaBruin

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2002
31
0
0
37
LA
Visit site
Status
Can anybody tell me if there is a clear cut line between Internal Medicine and Family Practice? Is the only difference that family practice allows the use of surgical methods, or is that even included in both specialties? If anybody can tell me the differences I'd really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
 

SMW

Grand Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2001
3,760
1
0
anchorage, ak
Visit site
Status
Internal medicine is a little more specialized. Basically you're treating adults who don't need surgical treatment. Following diabetics and people with heart disease, high BP, etc. Family practice is just that, you're treating the whole family -- from OB, to peds to adolescents to adults who don't need specialized monitoring -- people who are basically healthy (or until they're not). I know that my F.P. doc does do surgery regularly (although I don't think that's true of all F.P. docs) , and the internist that I shadowed never did.
 

neoisthe1

Student o' Life (SoL)
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2002
39
0
0
Lost out east, near the sea
Visit site
Status
Medical Student
I think that there is a philosophical difference between the two.

FP are operating on more of a personal background frame of reference. There a a couple of seminal papers on the formation of the fp specialty that are very interesting. There is a strong focus on the "art" of treating a member of the community. See papers by Whinney, Geyman, etc. circa 1969.

IM is also adult oriented you'd have to do an IM/Peds primary care residency to cover similar territory.

Either can be generalists though, so similar in that vein.
 

limit

Molesting my inner-child
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2000
570
1
0
New York City
Status
http://users.starpower.net/lnich/thirdyear

Read that book; the author posted it to this forum earlier. If you want, you can just read the family practice / internal med chapters. I believe that the story is a work of fiction but does have a basis in fact.
 

Bikini Princess

7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 26, 2002
793
0
0
38
Visit site
Status
I think internal medicine (usually just called medicine) is the comphrensive, scientific study of human disease. There are two main types of graduate study in internal medicine: general im, which is designed for people wishing to pursue primary care, and categorical, which is designed to serve as a foundation for further subspecialization (ie oncology, hematology, gastro, cardio, etc).


Family practice is designed to prepare a physician for only primary care, usually private practice. I think it emphasizes personal relationships, patient satisfaction, etc. I don't know that it is the most competitive field of medicine.

OB/GYN and pediatrics are also primary care fields. It is important to note that the number of general IM slots and family practice slots left empty after match-day has been steadily increasing in the past decades. There are many reasons for this...