If I am Injured, What Kind Of Doctor Do I Need? Part Three
What is the difference between a family practitioner and an internist? If you are in a construction accident, or a car wreck with a drunk driver, or hit by a semi tractor trailer in a highway accident chances you are going to be injured. If you are injured, considering what kind of doctor you will need is important. How do you know who is best to treat a back injury. How do you know who is bests to treat a spinal cord injury, amputation, paralysis, brain injury? These are all tough decisions. First, rely on your doctors. Just as you would never look for a qualified injury attorney or accident attorney by calling an advertiser, you don’t seek your doctor by waiting for a TV commercial to tell you who is qualified. Heck being on TV only means you paid for the ad, anyone can do that. Ask your friends who they use, do they trust them etc.
A Family Practitioner generally treats both adults and children. The family practitioner has completed medical school and a family practice residency before starting their practice. An internist generally only treats adults. An Internist has completed medical school, and an internal medicine residency. Most specialists, such a cardiologists (heart), pulmonologists (lungs), nephrologists (kidneys) begin as internists and then take addition education and obtain additional experience in their specialty. If you are hurt in an auto accident, both the family practice doctor and the internist are qualified first line of defense doctors. I think what you are really most interested in is a doctor who is talented as a diagnostician. This means that the doctor has the ability to quickly analyze your symptoms and signs and zero in on the cause of the problem. Once the problem is detected it can be treated. Your doctor should also have access to a list of qualified specialists if your injuries require additional care.