What is the Difference Between Family Medicine and Internal Medicine?

What is the Difference Between Family Medicine and Internal Medicine?If you don’t know how a family medicine physician differs from an internal medicine physician, you’re not alone. Many people are confused about the differences between these medical specialties and the doctors who practice them. To help clear up the confusion, let’s review what separates family medicine from internal medicine.

Family medicine vs. internal medicine

Both family medicine and internal medicine physicians are primary care doctors who provide wide-ranging treatment and preventive health services. They both serve as a patient’s “primary” source of care when concerning symptoms develop and can refer patients to other specialists, if necessary. The key difference between these two physicians is the age range of their patients.

  • Family medicine physicians are trained to care for the entire family, including babies, children, teens, adults, and seniors.
  • Internal medicine physicians, also called “internists,” are trained to treat adult health concerns and focus on adult patients exclusively.

If you are an adult, you can visit either one of these practitioners and be confident that you will be cared for by a highly qualified professional. Of course, it may be more convenient to consult with a family medicine physician if you have a child and would like to be seen by the same provider.

Primary care at Tufts Medical Center Community Care

Tufts Medical Center Community Care is staffed with both family medicine practitioners and internal medicine physicians who provide well-rounded primary care to our patients. In collaboration with dozens of medical specialists, we faithfully serve residents of the northern suburbs, providing a source of easily accessible medical treatment at multiple conveniently located centers.

To schedule an appointment with a family medicine physician or internist, give us call or take advantage of our simple online scheduling system. We accept most major health insurance plans and can often accommodate patients within as little as 48 hours.

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Patient Portal

myTuftsMed is our new online patient portal that provides you with access to your medical information in one place. MyTuftsMed can be accessed online or from your mobile device providing a convenient way to manage your health care needs from wherever you are.

With myTuftsMed, you can:

  1. View your health information including your medications, test results, scheduled appointments, medical bills even if you have multiple doctors in different locations.
  2. Make appointments at your convenience, complete pre-visit forms and medical questionnaires and find care or an emergency room.
  3. Connect with a doctor no matter where you are.
  4. Keep track of your children’s and family members’ medical care, view upcoming appointments, book visits and review test results.
  5. Check in on family members who need extra help, all from your private account.


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