Doctors of internal medicine focus on adult medicine and have had special study and training focusing on the prevention and treatment of adult diseases. At least three of their seven or more years of medical school and postgraduate training are dedicated to learning how to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases that affect adults. Internists are sometimes referred to as the “doctor’s doctor,” because they are often called upon to act as consultants to other physicians to help solve puzzling diagnostic problems.
What’s an “internist”?
Simply put, doctors of internal medicine are Doctors for Adults. But you may see them referred to by several terms, including “internists,” “general internists” and “doctors of internal medicine.” But don’t mistake them 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.
Caring for you for Life
In today’s complex medical environment, internists take pride in caring for their patients for life. When other medical specialists, such as surgeons or obstetricians, are involved, they coordinate their patient’s care and manage difficult medical problems associated with that care.