The difference between family medicine and
“Primary care physicians fall into [one of two categories]: family medicine
doctors and internal medicine doctors. We’re all primary care physicians, but
the biggest difference is internal medicine doctors are like adult pediatricians.
Here is a breakdown of which doctor sees which type of patient:
•A pediatrician cares for children.
•An internal medicine physician cares for adults.
•A family practitioner is a pediatrician and internist combined into one
specialty, and cares for both children and adults.
“A family physician see adults and kids, plus perform a lot of women’s health.
A lot of family physicians see the entire family and kind of grow with the whole
family.Regardless of your age, it’s important to your health that you develop a
relationship with a physician.
A lot of times when patients pick a doctor, they may pick an internist because
they haven’t had a family physician growing up. Family practitioners can take
care of individual adult health needs regardless of family status. So, as an
adult, you have two good options. If you want a good adult primary care
physician, you can see a family physician who is trained to take care of adults
or you can see an internal medicine physician, who also takes care of only
Understanding the Different Kind of Primary Care
"PCP" is a commonly used acronym or abbreviation to describe a your primary
health care provider. This is usually a physician, but can also be a nurse
practitioner or physician's assistant who works under the direction of a
To help you determine what type of doctor may be right for you, here is helpful
information about several types of primary care providers:
Primary Care Physicians
Family Practice & Internal Medicine
Both Family Practice and Internal Medicine physicians serve as primary
care physicians. Both types of physicians have attended four years of
medical school, followed by a three year residency. The focus of the
residency is what differentiates the two areas. Family practice physicians'
training focuses on caring for the whole family, including pediatrics and
OB/GYN care. Internal medicine training focuses solely on disease facing
adults. Both types of physicians are required to take ongoing medical
education courses throughout their career.
Both Family Practice and Internal Medicine physicians can treat a variety
of illnesses and conditions, conduct health screenings and comprehensive
physical exams, provide primary, wellness and preventative health care. They
can be your partner in monitoring and managing long-term illnesses and
conditions including diabetes and high cholesterol. If they diagnose a
condition requiring specialist follow up, they can coordinate that care with the
While Obstetricians and Gynecologists (OB/GYNs) are experts in the
female reproductive system, some women use their OB/GYN as their primary
care provider. OB/GYNs are physicians trained to care for women during
pregnancy and childbirth, as well as manage any disorders of the female
reproductive system. If you want your OB/GYN to be your primary care
provider, make sure to ask if they will serve that role as well.
Some OB/GYNs prefer to have a Family Practice or Internal Medicine
physician follow patients for medical issues not related to the reproductive
system. Like Family Practice and Internal Medicine physicians, OB/GYNs
attend four years of medical school, followed by a three year residency. But,
their residency training focuses on pregnancy, childbirth, and the medical and
surgical management of problems of the female reproductive system.
Pediatricians are physicians trained to care for newborns, infants, children
and adolescents. They also attend four years of medical school followed by
three years of residency training. They provide preventive care for healthy
children and treat children who are injured or ill. They specialize in childhood
diseases, growth and emotional health.
M.D.s and D.O.s
Medical Doctors (M.D.s) and Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.s) are physicians
who are licensed to practice medicine. The main difference is in the type of
four year medical school they attend (medical or osteopathic). Following
medical school, both obtain graduate medical education through internships
and residencies. Like M.D.'s, D.O.'s may choose to practice in any specialty
area. Each must pass similar examinations for licensure and board-
Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants Many primary care
physicians also use "mid-level" care providers to help take care of their
patients. "Mid-level" is a term used to describe Nurse Practitioners and
Physician Assistants who are trained to manage patient care under the
supervision of a physician. They are licensed to provide care, as well as to
order diagnostic tests or prescribe many medications.
A Nurse Practitioner has completed a registered nursing degree program as
part of a bachelor's degree. In addition, they have master's degree from an
accredited nurse practitioner program. Physician Assistants also have a
bachelor's degree and then complete a master's level degree in a physician's
assistant program, and may specialize in many fields of medicine including
|Enterprise Family Healthcare
Darl Rantz, M.D.
Board Certified Family Practice
2192 Ingleside Avenue
Macon, Georgia 31204
Phone (478) 745-9880
Fax (478) 745-8611
Our daily office hours are:
Monday 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
We are closed for lunch from 1:00 PM
until 2:00 PM daily.