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primary care IM


7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2003
    I have a friend who wants to practice primary care medicine, and has interviwed for both primary care IM and FP.She now asked me for an opinion in both, she said an internist advised her to go for FP if she is sure she will not change her mind to sub-specialise, she however wants to know if FP will give her enough IM to confidently stand on her own and se cases she will be presented with in primary care settings.
    My question then is,what are the pros and cons of primary care IM for one who has no interest in sub-specialty,as against FP, for applicants who really don't mind taking care of kids and some pregnant women.
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    7+ Year Member
    15+ Year Member
    Oct 13, 2002
      There still seem to be a lot of bias against FP docs, especially amongst the specialists, either surgical or IM sub-specialists.

      FP training is rather broad with training in adult medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, etc. However, their training is not very focused in any one specific field, and many physicians think FP docs know a little about everything, but not a lot about anything.

      Primary care internists are more mainstream. Historically the Board of Internal Medicine has been around for ages, but Family Medicine is still a relatively new (~30 yrs).

      Depends on if your friend wants to focus on adult medicine or wants to do peds and OB as well...


      Senior Member
      10+ Year Member
      15+ Year Member
      Feb 2, 2002
      New York
        As folks I know who are doing FP explain it to me: there is more diversity in FP and more options. For example, one friend is now clinic director at a Texas university hospital, exclusively seeing emergent care under the FP "umbrella". He hated doing routine continuity clinical care and dealing with non-compliant patients, and took this option instead and is quite happy with it working four days a week, with long weekends off. Another FP practitioner I know is seeing the full spectrum of medical care (save OB) in an underprivileged area in Boston. His scope of internal medicine would match any internist, in my opinion, because his reading borders on the obsessive, by his choice. A third FP I'm acquainted with, chose FP over IM because, as she said, she "bores easily," and FP offers the gamut in clinical cases seen daily.

        In medicine, depending on where you choose to practice, there seems to be enough latitude for the presence of both specialists. Most FPs can handle about 90-95% of the kinds of cases they see in the community, and are smart enough to call in the specialists when they need an assist.
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