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Internal Medicine vs. Family Medicine

When choosing a primary care doctor, it’s good to know the difference between an Internal Medicine Doctor and a Family Medicine Doctor. Please read below to understand the similarities and differences and to learn more about the type of care we offer members at Osteopathic Healing Arts.

Internal Medicine & Family Medicine- What’s the difference?

Osteopathic Healing Arts Direct Primary Care is a Family Medicine Clinic. Both Family Medicine (FM) doctors and Internal Medicine doctors (Internists) treat adults and FM doctors and Internists are both considered primary care doctors. Both may have training in several subspecialities; however, Internists primarily see adults and only see children if they have additional training in Pediatrics. Internal Medicine doctors complete three years of residency after medical school and specialize in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease in their adult patients.

Family Medicine

Family Medicine doctors see patients of all ages and the care they provide falls within four categories of medicine: Pediatrics, Adolescent Medicine, Adult Medicine, and Geriatrics. Before practicing, FM doctors also complete a three-year residency program after medical school. Family Medicine doctors can care for individuals throughout their lives and in many cases, care for multiple generations of the same family.

Family Medicine practitioners are primarily trained in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology and internal medicine. They also have broad training to some degree in various specialties including emergency medicine, surgery, psychiatry, radiology, ophthalmology, urology and more. Because they see the widest variety of ages and conditions, they must be taught to diagnose and treat accordingly.

Osteopathic Medicine

In addition to the aforementioned areas, Dr. Starkman, as an Osteopath, is trained in a whole-person approach with a focus on preventive health care. Osteopaths also receive training in manipulating the musculoskeletal system, which is the body’s interconnected system of nerves, muscles, and bones. You can learn more about Traditional Osteopathic Medicine here.