What is the difference between a family doctor and an internist?

The distinct difference between a family medicine doctor and an internal medicine doctor (internist) is that a family doctor treats patients of all ages, while an internist specializes in the care and treatment of only adults. Choose a St. Joseph Health Medical Group primary care physician that best meets your needs.

The primary care physicians at St. Joseph Health Medical Group include internists, pediatricians and family doctors. We want to ensure you and your family have access to the type of care that will be best for your health care and wellness needs throughout the stages of life.

A family doctor cares for patients at every stage of life from birth through old age, whereas an internist is trained in the care and management of chronic, severe and complex illness for adult and elderly patients.

If you're an adult with children, choosing a family doctor could be the best fit since it may be more convenient for the entire family to be cared for by the same doctor. If you're an adult with multiple or complex medical issues, then seeing an internist may be your best bet.

Ultimately, the right physician for you is the one you trust.

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