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
First Steps for Specialization in Internal Medicine
When you begin taking part in internal medicine residency after you finish medical school, it’s possible to either specialize in general internal medicine or select a subspecialty you like. There is no requirement to pick the subspecialty instantly after the graduation.
Prior to dealing with a subspecialty, you have to fully undergo and finish basic training in internal medicine. In other words, it’s necessary to come to the end of internal medicine residency. Internists are the internal medicine doctors who put major emphasis on setting a diagnosis and prescribing treatment for a diversity of ailments which bother adults. Internal medicine can be also called general medicine since the internists are not only directly involved into the treatment of numerous diseases but can also recommend supplementation products such as HGH supplements. These doctors also participate in the improvement of patients’ overall well-being as well as help the patients properly manage the body weight problems and select the best appetite suppressants.
Obtaining a four-year undergraduate degree and completing a four-year medical school study, the internist can start residency. Postgraduate medicine course for internists is comprised of a one-year internship and then followed with a three-year internal medicine residency. After residency completion, the internists have to pass the oral and written examination to be awarded a status of a broad-certified internist.
Choice of Internal Medicine Subspecialty
If the internists want to deeper specialize in some fields of medicine and have much broader career prospects, the further extensive training is demanded. The internists have a range of choices at their disposal to deepen their medicine knowledge and give a priority to a particular subspecialty. To make the choice of subspecialty successful, the internists have to consider some important aspects of their further work in medicine.
Thus, trying to select the subspecialty most appropriate for you, you should first of all be oriented towards your own preferences and interests as well as prepare well for the internal medicine rotation. Also, it’s necessary to take an unbiased look at the duration of subspecialty training, which you would like to undergo. There are the subspecialties which demand much longer training, comparing to the other ones.
Broadness and deepness are what distinguish the subspecialization in a certain internal medicine realm. As a rule, subspecialty training, also known as a fellowship, must last from one to three years in addition to the years which have to be spent for the completing the general internal medicine residency.
Also, you need to perform the analysis of your strengths and weaknesses to determine your strong and weak points which may have a sufficient influence on your performance in one or another internal medicine subspecialty. Selection of internal medicine subspecialty able to fully comply with the internist’s personality traits, propensities, and interests considerably raises the probability of making great strides in the internal medicine subspecialty the doctor picks. If the internists manage to match their personality to a particular subspecialty, the patients will only benefit from this since the doctor will be highly dedicated and engaged into the patients’ health problems.
Once you have already chosen the internal medicine subspecialty, it doesn’t mean that the you should devote the whole career to it since you may complete additional training and change it.
Importance of Regular Visits to Internists
Regardless of whether you choose a family physician or general internist, the regular doctor’s appointments are a pledge for a good health. The regularity of health checkups will enable you to save your health and maintain it at a high level. The regular connection with your internal medicine doctor will help you timely have an access to the needed screenings, physicals, and vaccinations. And you will not miss the demanded procedures in case of routine communication with your internist.
The visits to an internist on an ongoing basis is a sure method to identify the medical conditions when they only start emerging. When a particular disease is caught at the very beginning of its onset, the chances to quickly and successfully treat it are the greatest, even if this refers to serious and life-threatening medical conditions. In this case, it will be possible to choose not very intensive and less expensive treatment methods.
You should also remember that the preventive healthcare visits and screenings are typically completely covered by the majority of health insurance programs.
So, you should schedule the internist’s appointments in a regular manner to prevent many dangerous diseases as well as disease complications. This will unburden both your personal and community budget.
In case of any questions concerning the regular visits to an internist, you should get in touch with your internal medicine doctor.
What Is FACP?
If the name of your internal medicine doctor is written along with FACP acronym indicates that this doctor belongs has become a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP). The latter one is the greatest, most renowned, and authoritative organization of internists throughout the globe. Being a Fellow of ACP demonstrates that an internist is actively and consistently engaged into honing own skills and proficiency in terms of medical researching, teaching, and education. This Fellowship is also a sign of being privileged and singled out for the ongoing and valuable contribution to the medical science and practice. So, the Fellowship in ACP is a kind of prestigious reward among the internists. If you deal with the internist who is the Fellow in ACP, you are guaranteed to get the top-notch medical services. This also shows that your internal medicine doctor doesn’t stop medical education, carries out teaching activities, does specific training, and takes part in inpatient appointments.