Differences Between Internal and Primary Care Physicians

Primary Care Herndon, VA

Considering visiting a primary care physician? With so many different healthcare providers, it can be confusing to know who does what. Primary care physicians are typically the first point of contact for many individuals; however, another common type of healthcare provider is an internal physician. Internal care physicians focus on internal medicine, which is a little bit different than primary care practices. Ready to find out more?

Primary care vs internal care

Below is an overview of both primary care physicians and internal care physicians, including similarities and differences. When considering different doctors to visit, it can be helpful to review the following information.

Primary care physicians

A primary care physician provides general healthcare to patients of all ages, including children and the elderly. They focus their efforts on routine healthcare, such as wellness checkups and treating general health conditions. Additionally, they provide disease prevention and management services. 

Primary care physicians are usually family doctors that want to keep their patients healthy through preventive measures. Some of the most common preventive measures include testing, lifestyle changes and bloodwork, all of which can be used to identify any concerning red flags. 

Internal care physicians

An internal care physician is similar to a primary care physician, however, there are a few key differences. Instead of seeing patients of all ages, an internal care physician focuses on adults. The complex issues that they identify and address are usually found in adults, as opposed to children. Another difference is that they focus more on complex conditions that are treated in hospital-like settings, as opposed to small family practices.

Physicians that study internal medicine also undergo training in emergency medicine and critical care, both of which are useful when practicing in a hospital setting. While a primary care physician does get some light training on these areas, most opt to undergo OBGYN or pediatric training.

Internal medicine focuses on complex issues, as opposed to the general wellbeing of a patient. They work to diagnose and treat health conditions, as opposed to preventing them.

In some scenarios, the primary care physician may even work with the internal care physician. In this case, the patient would visit their primary care physician for any abnormalities that developed. Then, the patient may be referred out to an internal medicine care provider who can tackle the condition.

Deciding which is best

When considering a primary care physician or an internal care physician, it can be helpful to consult with both! Remember, primary care is more for general wellbeing healthcare, while internal care can focus on more complex issues. Ultimately, both types of physicians are qualified, educated and trained to provide healthcare services to people in need. 

A consultation with either or both physician is a great place to start. Consultations often include exams, which can be used to determine any necessary treatment or care. Reach out today to learn more or to get started!

Request an appointment here: https://herndon.millenniummedicalcare.com or call Millennium Medical Care Herndon at (703) 743-7849 for an appointment in our Herndon office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Primary Care in Herndon, VA.

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