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Both internists (physicians who specialize in internal medicine) and family practitioners (physicians who specialize in family medicine) have attended four years of medical school, completed a three-year residency and are licensed to practice by the state. The focus of work in residency is what differentiates the two areas. Either is a reasonable choice for your primary care physician.
The correlation of a primary care partnership to a healthy life is well documented, yet nearly one in four Americans does not have a primary care provider. Building a relationship with a primary care physician (PCP) who knows your life circumstances and medical and personal histories helps to ensure the best possible care when you need it. Partnering with your PCP is also effective in achieving and maintaining optimal health, managing chronic health issues such as hypertension or diabetes, and preventing or minimizing greater disease development.