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Internal Medicine

Primary Care for Adults in Monterey County

When you are deciding on a primary care provider, you may ask yourself whether to go with a family practitioner, or internal medicine specialist. Both provide similar services, and ultimately there is no “wrong” choice. There are, however, a few key differences which may influence your decision.

Training

Though they perform similar services, family medicine and internal medicine doctors take different approaches to medical training. A family practitioner is expected to treat patients of all ages, from infants to senior citizens. This requires a broad medical background with knowledge in a variety of specials such as pediatrics, geriatrics, gynecology, critical care and more.

Internal medicine, on the other hand, caters only to adults. Internal medicine doctors have more focused training on subspecialties for adult healthcare. Many internal medicine doctors have at least some experience in endocrinology, infectious diseases, neurology, dermatology and more. They are not as prepared to treat children, but have essential medical training needed to diagnose more complicated and obscure conditions in adults.

Who Best Suits Your Needs?

Both these fields of medicine are capable of providing quality medical care. Your current circumstances plays the primary role in choosing one over the other.

If you have a big family, a family practitioner could be the ideal choice. This offers you continuity in your family’s healthcare services, and avoids keeping track of numerous medical records from various doctors. Additionally, a primary family practitioner will become acquainted with your family’s medical history and susceptibility to diseases and genetic conditions. This allows them to better facilitate care for all members of your household.

For smaller families, or people without live-in relatives, internal medicine is preferable. Your doctor does not require a wide array of general medical knowledge if you are the only person they are treating. Their more specialized knowledge in adult healthcare could better cater to your specific needs. If you currently see a family practitioner who is unable to diagnose a condition, consider receiving a second opinion from an internal medicine doctor.

Both internal and family medicine services are offered at Salinas Valley Medical Clinic. We service all people in the local area, including the Monterey Peninsula, Central Coast and nearby areas.