Overview of Specialty Pathways in Primary Care and Population Health

Internal Medicine

Internal medicine focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases that affect adults, according to the American College of Physicians.  General internists may focus on either inpatient (hospital) or outpatient (clinic) work, and general internal medicine training also lays the foundation for careers in internal medicine subspecialties, such as cardiology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, infectious disease, endocrinology, nephrology, and hematology/oncology.

 

Family Medicine

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, Family medicine integrates a broad-spectrum approach to primary care with the consideration of health-impacting social determinants and community factors, while also serving as an advocate for the patient in an increasingly complex health care system. Unlike other narrowly focused specialties, family medicine includes the biological, clinical, and behavioral sciences, encompassing all ages, sexes, each organ system, and every disease entity.

Geriatric Care

Geriatric Medicine is a "super" specialty in a medical world of sub-specialization, in which the only limits are imposed by age/life stage.  Geriatric Medicine covers nearly every specialty of medicine, includes preventive, curative, and palliative care, and is practiced anywhere from home to primary care clinics to skilled nursing facilities to intensive care units.  It is a highly interdisciplinary field, with care best delivered by teams of physicians, nurses, social workers, rehabilitation experts, and other allied health professionals.   A rotation in Geriatric Medicine caring for complex older adult patients prepares you to navigate the health care system like no other rotation can.    

Palliative Care

Palliative care focuses on improving the quality of life for patients and their families through the management of symptoms, pain and stress brought on by a serious illness.