Internists can choose to focus their practice on general internal medicine or take additional training to “subspecialize” in additional areas of internal medicine. The 13 subspecialties of internal medicine that internists can subspecialize in after medical school include:
Allergy and immunology
Endocrinology (diabetes and other glandular disorders)
Gastroenterology (colon and intestinal tract)
Geriatrics (care of the elderly)
What Is Internal Medicine?
Internal medicine is an area of medical practice that specializes on the treatment of adult people. It is engaged in preventing, diagnosing, and curing medical conditions in all adult people, ranging from chronical diseases to minor ailments and overweight management with diet pills. Internal medicine provides special training which makes the highly competent medical guidance possible and enough in order to prevent different disorders and offer professional everyday care. When a doctor finishes a basic internal medicine training, this doctor is considered an internist.
Internists vs Family Practitioners
A large number of people may get into a muddle trying to understand the difference between family practitioners and internists. Both internists and family practitioners belong to the primary care doctors for most people, performing annual physical examinations and managing overall health issues including overweight that requires the intake of fat burners. But it’s still possible to distinguish a major difference between these doctors.
Thus, the family practice physicians offer medical care to much more groups of patients comparing to internists. The family practitioners deal with overall health and wellness of all patients including children and adolescents.
As for the internists, they undergo more intense training in the management of the medical conditions related to internal organs and internal bodily processes. These doctors treat exceptionally adult people.
The internal medicine physicians put a special emphasis on the older patients because these doctors are greatly engaged in the treatment of chronic diseases. And the chronic diseases are the most frequent problems which concern the older population.
Nature of Internal Medicine Doctors’ Work
The internal medicine doctors undergo special training to work with the patients who suffer from both acute and chronic diseases and their manifestations.
In particular, the general internal medicine doctors acquire knowledge and competence in setting correct diagnosis, indicating adequate treatment, and being engaged in solving with medical uncertainties. The internists also have to do with the intercurrent diseases which often require the management of numerous symptoms and issues.
For example, obesity treatment typically demands not just the intake of anti-obesity medications and OTC carb blockers, but also the correction of eating behavior and significant lifestyle change management. Also, the internists determine when the consultation of the other medical specialist if the internists deem it necessary.
The work of the internal medicine doctors is focused on:
- Establishing diagnosis and prescribing treatment for a variety of diseases which at the same time require urgent medical help in the hospital settings and assistance of other healthcare providers.
- Setting diagnosis and prescribing treatment for a multitude of disorders which fall within the competence of medical outpatient departments.
- Dealing with the patients who require both hospital care and ambulatory care because of availability of intercurrent diseases. This may refer to the management of elderly patients, suffering from dementia, senility, and other age-related conditions.
- Offering recommendations and professional medical assistance on the lifestyle amendment issues and physical activity including the advice on the use of testosterone boosters.
- Ensuring medical care for the patients who have to undergo the hospital treatment according to the referral of medical specialist in other medicine fields.
The medical specialists who are involved in general internal medicine render acute medical care services. These medical services cover many realms of medical expertise such as acute medicine, renal medicine, respiratory medicine, endocrinology, rheumatology, diabetes, gastroenterology, and geriatrics.
The majority of doctors who are engaged in general internal medicine also simultaneously get the professional knowledge in other specialties and subspecialties. There are also the internists who not just practice general internal medicine but also carry out academic scientific activities.
Most Common Internal Medicine Procedures
The range of the medical procedures most frequently performed by the internists is as follows:
- Advanced cardiac life support
- Direct-current (DC) cardioversion-defibrillation
- Electrical cardiac stimulation which is actually temporary cardiac pacing
- Central and peripheral venous catheter insertion
- Abdominal fluid aspiration and pleural aspiration
- Indwelling catheter drainage for chest and abdomen
- Spinal tap procedure