When it comes to going to health care, most of the medical specialties are easy for patients to understand. They know that neurosurgeons' focus is operating on the brain and spinal column and that cardiologists are experts on the heart. However, the work of a doctor of internal medicine is often quite confounding and confusing. In order to clear this issue up, get to know more about internal medicine and how a doctor of internal medicine may be able to provide healthcare and medical treatment for you.
What Does Internal Medicine Mean?
Many people hear the term internal medicine and think that it has to do with some mysterious operations and functions within the body. However, this is not necessarily the case.
Internal medicine refers to general medicine for adults. This means that it deals with prevention of disease and other issues, the diagnosis of those issues, and the treatment of ailments.
What Are the Differences between Internal Medicine and Family Medicine?
When you hear that doctors of internal medicine are also general practitioners, you may wonder if there is a difference between an internist and a family medicine doctor. The main difference between these two types of physicians is that a family medicine doctor focuses on the patient in the context of their familial relationships.
As such, a family doctor may also treat children and educate parents and children on ways to prevent disease transmission among family members as well as how to cope with chronic conditions in the context of the family. An internal medicine doctor specializes in adults and will treat older adolescents, but not young children or babies.
Do Doctors of Internal Medicine Provide Pregnancy Care?
Women who see a doctor of internal medicine as their primary care physician may wonder if they can continue to see their doctor for prenatal and pregnancy care. While a doctor of internal medicine can provide general gynecological treatment like routine pap smears and wellness checks, they are not trained in obstetrics or prenatal care (unless they are dual certified in both specialties).
As such, women who become pregnant will need to seek out the care of an OB/GYN when they are pregnant. However, they can continue to see their primary care provider for all non-pregnancy-related issues while pregnant.
Now that you know more about internal medicine, you can better gauge if a doctor of internal medicine is right for you. Contact a doctor from an establishment like Hightstown Medical Associates for further questions.