Many individuals wonder if they should see a family doctor or internal medicine doctor. In many ways, internal medicine doctors and family doctors are similar.

They offer similar services and their goal is to monitor their patient’s health, provide preventive measures, provide screening measures and catch disease processes early and in a timely manner to nip health issues in the bud.

From infants to senior citizens, a family doctor sees patients of all ages. On the other hand, an internist medicine doctor only sees adults.

Family physicians have gone to medical school and then partake in a three-year internship/residency for training in Family Medicine — their training encompasses many different branches of medicine, including obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, adolescent medicine, adult medicine and geriatrics. Therefore, I consider a family doctor as more of a generalist.

On the other hand, an “internist” has gone to four years of medical school and then partakes in a three-year internship/residency in “internal medicine” — to become a specialist in adult medicine. We focus on the care of patients age 18 and older. We are trained in providing many health care services including general care and specialized care. Internists provide preventive care services, routine health care and screening, and also diagnose and treat many health conditions involving all of our body’s systems — neurology, cardiology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, nephrology, urology, endocrinology, dermatology, orthopedics, etc. Examples of some diseases we treat on a daily basis include high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease to name a few.

Both internists and family medicine doctors perform several minor procedures, including abscess drainage, laceration repair, and excision of skin lesions.

To become an internist, one has to complete a three-year residency program after finishing medical school. The majority of an internist’s training is performed in a hospital setting — taking care of the sickest of the sick. They are equipped with the necessary skills to care for people with serious health conditions (the sickest people). This training prepares an internist to become the ideal primary doctor as they are able to help patients minimize and mitigate risk factors they may develop.

Internists also receive extensive training in specialty areas, including psychiatry, neurology, cardiology, pulmonology, sleep medicine, gastroenterology, nephrology, endocrinology, and infectious diseases. Their training prepares them to provide holistic care to patients in different stages of their lives.

Dr. Guy is one of the best doctors near you. He takes a pragmatic approach to health care and understands the importance of empathy in health care. Committed to patient-centered care, he uses various techniques to build long-term relationships with his patients. To make an appointment with him, call (707) 938-1255.