If you’re like most Americans, you probably visit a general practitioner (sometimes referred to as a family doctor), at least 4 times a year. But… did you know that an internal medicine specialist might be a better choice for your medical care?
So what’s the difference between a general practitioner and an internal medicine physician? And why see one over the other?
We’ve got the answer with these 5 compelling reasons you should visit an internal medicine specialist instead.
What Is an Internal Medicine Specialist?
Internal medicine specialists have expertise in diagnosis and treatment of everything from run-of-the-mill illnesses, to unusual and rare diseases.
They are adept at diagnosing and managing multiple illnesses or disease in one person as well. As if this isn’t enough reason to opt for an internist, read on to see how they compare to general practitioners!
1. Experience with Chronic Diseases
If you suffer from one or more chronic disease like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension, lung disease, or others, an internal medicine specialist is likely a better choice.
Internal medicine physicians diagnose and treat chronic illnesses and combinations of these on a daily basis. Thus, their experience and knowledge base in treatment and diagnosis is greater.
2. Expertise in Adult Care
While family practitioners usually see patients of any age, from children to senior adults, internal medicine specialists see only adult patients.
This is a positive thing for those looking for a physician with more narrow expertise in treating adult symptoms and illnesses.
3. Expertise in Severe Illness
Another positive aspect of choosing an internal medicine physician is that they typically have much more experience and knowledge in treating more severe illnesses.
These physicians often work in a hospital setting or complete several years of post-residency work in a hospital. Thus, they see a wide variety of more severe injuries and illnesses.
4. A Deeper Training
Because family medicine physicians see such a large variety of patients, they have more broad exposure to illnesses and injuries. However, internal medicine doctors delve deep into adult issues during both work and training.
Internists get to work more in-depth with specialists as well. Because they spend so much time in hospitals, they get to consult, train, and treat patients suffering from issues that require more subspecialty knowledge.
More complex or combined issues are better approached from the background of an internist.
5. Ability to Work Under Pressure
Internal medicine specialists are adept at working on more basic illnesses as well as severe and traumatic issues normally seen in emergency rooms or hospitals.
Because of this, they have a little more experience than family medicine doctors with handling problems under pressure. If you’re looking for a calm doctor, with confidence in handling things that may become serious quickly, an internist is a right choice.
Choosing the Best for Your Health
At the end of the day, both a family medicine doctor and an internal medicine specialist are qualified and excellent choices for health care.
However, when it comes to chronic, serious, or more adult issues, an internist may be the best choice for you. For more ideas and tips on making wise health choices, take a look at the health section of our blog.