What Is Internal Medicine
What is internal medicine? What do internal medicine physicians focus on? This is a very broad field of modern medicine and an extremely important one. Internal medicine focuses on the prevention, proper diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. Physicians that have chosen this area of expertise, known as internists, are interested in diseases that affect adults, not children. Understanding what exactly internal medicine is you can decide if you need to see an internist for your next doctor's appointment.
Internal Body: Internal medicine revolves around diseases that affect the internal organs. A patient may have a problem with one organ, such as the liver. More commonly, illnesses affect multiple organs or body systems, such as atherosclerosis or diabetes.
Discovering the Disease: One of the most important roles of the internist is to help diagnose a disease. With a thorough knowledge of all the internal organs, of causes and symptoms, these physicians can even help other doctors determine what is causing a set of problems for a patient.
Internist Education: To study to be a doctor of internal medicine, medical students and residents spend at least three years training to recognize adult diseases and to treat these illnesses properly. Time is spent in emergency medicine, intensive care and subspecialty clinics. Residents work with the chronically ill while also garnering experience with acute diseases. A broad, rigorous training is intended to cultivate a deeper understanding of both common and rare diseases in adult medicine.
Primary Care: Internists can act as primary care physicians for adults. As these doctors have a decent background in identifying diseases of the internal organs it is not a bad idea to see one on a regular basis. This is particularly true as you age and problems such as heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer are more likely to rear their ugly heads.
Subspecialties: While internal medicine is in essence a broad field, combining clinical experience and an understanding of all diseases that can affect the internal organs, it can be broken down into specific categories. An internist may practice general internal medicine or focus on a subspecialty such as cardiology, nephrology, oncology or geriatrics.