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Doctor insights on: Internist Vs General Practitioner

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Why do doctors become internists / general practitioners rather than specialists?

Why do doctors become internists / general practitioners rather than specialists?

Variety: Most doctors, including myself, who practice internal medicine enjoy the variety of patients and diagnoses. Family physicians expand even further including pediatrics and sometimes gynecology.

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Dr. Adam Lewis
5 Doctors shared insights

General Practitioners (Definition)

General practitioners are medical professionals that do not provide specialist care. In certain countries this term may ...Read more


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How do a general practitioner, family practice, and internal medicine differ?

How do a general practitioner, family practice, and internal medicine differ?

Family medicine: The difference is in training. Family medicine usually focused more in outpatient. Internal medicine training training focus more on inpatient with some emphasis on outpatient.

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What's the difference is between 'internal medicine', 'hospitalist' and 'general practice'?

Different: Internist is one who specializes in internal medicine. They are mostly experienced in inpatient and outpatient care. They may either choose to be an hospitalist (who takes care of inpatients or hospital based practice) or an internist may choose to stay in a clinic to take care of out patients. General practice-sees all patients taking care of generally minor ailments.

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What is the difference between speed of getting in to see family medicine, internal medicine and general practice?

What is the difference between speed of getting in to see family medicine, internal medicine and general practice?

Depends on location: In many parts of the country, internal medicine physicians are in short supply and it can take longer to get an appointment with an internist than with a general practice doctor or a family physician. However, internists often see more medically complex patients and if you are in that category, it will be worth the wait unless it is an emergency.

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What's the difference is between doctors of 'internal medicine' and 'general practice'?

One is a specialist: General practice usually means that the doctor has completed one year of hospital training after medical school. Internal medicine doctors are specialists in the medical care of adults. They complete 3 or more years of training after medical college and must pass exams to become "board-certified" in internal medicine.

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What is the difference between family medicine, internal medicine and general practice.?

What is the difference between family medicine, internal medicine and general practice.?

Specialty training: General practice doctors typically do not have board certification. Both internal medicine doctors and family practice physicians complete a three year residency which educates them on the various types of patients they will encounter in practice. Internal medicine physicians primarily treat adults, family practice physicians treat adults, children, and pregnant women.

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What's the difference between 'internal medicine' and 'general practice'?

What's the difference between 'internal medicine' and 'general practice'?

Internsl medicine: Internal medicine doctors are specialized in adult medicine. They manage patients with complicated multiple medical conditions. Difference between family medicine is family medicine doctors see obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics. Both the specialties can do general practice which is managing a panel of patients in an outpatient based setting and may be admit patients requiring hospital care.

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What's the difference is between 'internal medicine' and 'general practice'?

2 years.: Internal medicine is a specialty that requires a 2 year residency. Any doctor can use "general practice" to signify they are in the business of caring for the public. Most internal medicine specialists prefer general internal medicine. We provide care for the older, sicker patient and the more complex diseases of adults. If over age 50 you should consider seeing one of us.

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What are the differences between primary care doctors like family medicine, internal medicine and general practice.?

Their training: General practice usually means the doctor has completed only an internship (1 year) of hospital training after medical school. Family physicians and internal medicine doctors usually complete 3-4 years of further training after medical school and they take exams to become board certified in their specialties. All three may take care of some of the same problems, but their training is different.

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Are general practitioners a dying breed of specialists?

Are general practitioners a dying breed of specialists?

Their Numbers Fall: Traditionally a general practitioner (gp)is a physician who completes 4 years of undergraduate study, 4 years of medical school and finally a one year internship. Then the physician must pass a comprehensive exam before receiving a medical license. Today we see many more physicians opting to complete three year programs in family and internal medicine. The end result, fewer and fewer gp's.

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Could a general practitioner observe papilledema?

Possible: Papilledema is difficult for non-eye doctors to see with the equipment that they have available. If there is a suggestion of this, it should be confirmed by an ophthalmologist.

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How much does a general practitioner know about head trauma?

How much does a general practitioner know about head trauma?

Medical school: General practicioners have gone to medical school and most have had an internship and residency in family medicine. Many have tremendous training in the er, icu, and in practice. The gp as your call them (family physician) does not hold themselve out as "the expert" in head trauma but are usually very knowlegeable. They are the ones out on the football field making sure your children are safe!

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Can a general practitioner insert an IUD? Are IUDs expensive?

Can a general practitioner insert an IUD? Are IUDs expensive?

Yes: Some family physicians feel comfortable inserting IUDs but you want to make sure that it is a procedure that doctor has done frequently and recently. If not I would suggest an OB/GYN instead. IUDs are somewhat expensive depending on your insurance coverage. They generally average out to the same price as taking birth control pills monthly but the payment is up front with the IUD.

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Is it okay for a male general practitioner to check a teen girl?

Is it okay for a male general practitioner to check a teen girl?

Yes: The doctor will be professional with the girl. If the girl is uncomfortable, that is different - it is her choice whether she wants a male or female doctor.

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How do physician assistants and general practitioners collaborate?

How do physician assistants and general practitioners collaborate?

Many ways.: The scope of practice of pas depends on the state and their specialty. With general practitioners, pas usually work as "extensions" of the physician - and in theory, there should be good oversight of the work done by the pa. The physician should be available to answer questions the pa might have about the clinical case. In some states the pa can work without physician collaboration or backup.

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How many years of college is required to become a general practitioner?

How many years of college is required to become a general practitioner?

Many Years: Traditionally a general practitioner (gp) is a physician who completes four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school and finally a one year internship. Then the physician must pass a comprehensive examination before receiving a medical license.

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How is possible that general practitioners are allowed to prescribe psychiatric drugs?

MDs can rx all meds: Us physicians may legally prescribe almost any med without regard to specialty. In theory I could rx chemotherapy even though I've never practiced oncology. I could even perform surgery if a hospital were foolish enough to allow it. Primary care docs are in a much better position, & usually rx antidepressants & anti-anxiety meds well. For anything more complex, see a psychiatrist.

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Can you tell me if I could make an appointment for acupuncture without a general practitioner's permission?

Can you tell me if I could make an appointment for acupuncture without a general practitioner's permission?

Yes: However, if you are seeking treatment for a condition which your physician is already providing care for - it makes sense to discuss it with your physician. I believe in collaboration. I am an acupuncturist ; I try to touch bases with patients' primary physicians. That way we can optimize the treatment plan. Whenever your providers collaborate - it is a recipe for coordinated and good care.