What does a Specialist Physician / Internist do?

Internists are qualified physicians with postgraduate training in internal medicine and should not be confused with "interns", who are doctors in their first year of residency training. Although internists may act as primary care physicians, they are not "family physicians," "family practitioners," or "general practitioners," whose training is not solely concentrated on adults and may include surgery, obstetrics, and pediatrics. The American College of Physicians defines internists as "physicians who specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses in adults".

To qualify to become a Specialist Physician you need to study medicine for 7 years and then undertake an additional 4 years to specialize in the field of Specialist Physician. In these 4 years you rotate through a wide variety of sub-specialization fields including:

  • Pulmonology
  • Cardiology
  • Nephrology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Rheumatology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrinology
  • Haematology
  • Infectious diseases

First Aphorism of Hippocrates: Hippocratic Oath

"Life is short, and Art long, the crisis fleeting; experience perilous and decision difficult. The physician must not only be prepared to do what is right himself, but also to make the patient, the attendants, and the externals cooperate."

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What is Internal Medicine?

Internal medicine is the medical speciality dealing with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of adult conditions and diseases. Physicians specializing in internal medicine are called internists. They are especially skilled in the management of patients who have undifferentiated or multi-system disease processes. Internists care for hospitalized and ambulatory patients and may play a major role in teaching and research. Although some internists are full-time hospitalists, many fulfill locum tenens (temporary) positions both locally and internationally.