Internal Medicine

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What does Internal Medicine cover?

Internal medicine is one of the most far-reaching or complex science in human medicine. Internists, or physicians, are dealing with general symptoms such as fatigue, sudden loss of weight, chest or abdominal complaints, etc. They may manage serious acute illnesses that simultaneously affect multiple organ systems in a single patient. Internists also manage multiple chronic diseases or “comorbidities” a single patient may be experiencing.

Internists have a broad understanding of how the human body works, or fails to work. Their primary role is to coordinate a patient’s care from the “big picture” perspective, whether providing direct care or referring patients to other physicians for specialized needs. They’re the consummate diagnosticians, and they draw on their knowledge of the relationships among the body’s systems to make connections between symptoms and potential causes. They differ from specialists in that the specialist see medical issues in a narrower, yet focused, approach, sometimes missing larger picture which fall outside their scope of practice. In collaborative treatment situations, the internist takes overall responsibility for the patient’s care.

When should you see an internist?

If a patient is unsure which specialist to see regarding his/her symptoms the best choice to pick a doctor is the internist/physician.

During an internist visit the following may be provided:

  • General, or annual, health screening;  health maintenance,
  • Respiratory complaints e.g. sore throat, cough, earache
  • Solutions for acute and or chronic illnesses with symptoms such as:
    • abdominal pains
    • chest pains
    • shortness of breath
    • infections
    • dizziness
    • headaches
    • diarrhea
    • vomiting
    • fever

What does the internist doctor treat?

General internists are equipped to handle a broad and comprehensive spectrum of illnesses that affect adults. They are recognized as experts in diagnosis, in treatment of chronic illness, and in health promotion and disease prevention—they are not limited to one type of medical problem or organ system. General internists are equipped to deal with most problems a patient brings—no matter how common or rare, or how simple or complex. They are specially trained to solve puzzling diagnostic problems and can handle severe chronic illnesses and situations where several different illnesses may strike at the same time.

With more complex medical issues internists are the ones coordinating chronic specialist’s care, overseeing, following patients’ preventative care and diagnosing/treating acute illnesses. Usually, in case of severe multiple-illnesses, the patient is treated in hospital by multi-specialty group. After being released, the internist coordinates the follow-up care.

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