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Internal Medicine is a specialty that focuses on the entire human body. It mainly focuses on the diagnosis of disease, treatment of disease and prevention of disease. This medical specialty is very broad and has very many sub divisions. Some examples of these divisions include; immune system disorders, nephrology and other disorders that affect the human body.
A common misconception that a lot of people have about internal medicine is the fact that it deals only with internal organs. This is not the case. Internal medicine involves both the external and internal body. The doctors who get certified to work in this field are known as internists.
Internists are well trained doctors who are supposed to treat any condition that a patient has no matter how rare or common the condition is. Internists also make it their responsibility to educate their patients on various ways in which they can maintain wellness.
Some examples of the situations handled by internists include; women’s heath, ear problems, eye problems, conditions of the nervous system, mental health and substance abuse among others. Internists generally take pride in taking care of individuals who suffer from different conditions whether severe or chronic.
They are found in every type of hospital or medical institution including nursing homes. However, not all internists deal with treating the entire human body. Some choose to specialize in different fields. One example of a subspecialty in internal medicine is cardiology.
A cardiologist is a doctor who is responsible for treating heart conditions. Another example is adolescent medicine. An internist who specializes in this field deals with treating adolescents only. An internist can also choose to specialize in geriatrics which will require him or her to treat the elderly. Last but not least, he or she can specialize in oncology which deals with treatment cancer patients.
The first form of treatment an internist uses is prescribing medication. When a patient goes to see a doctor that specializes in internal medicine, the first thing the internist does is to diagnose the condition of the patient.
Once, the condition has been identified through blood tests or other sample tests, the internist then prescribes medication to treat the condition. In most cases, patients respond well to medication. However, if the patient does not respond well to this treatment, the internist uses another treatment technique which is hospitalization. Hospitalization is done in order for the doctor to examine the patient’s problem more closely to determine the evolution of the disease and why the medication did not work.
This is important because it enables the patient to rest and receive the best care in order for him or her to recover. If a patient happens to get worse while under hospitalization, the internist may require help from a subspecialist that deals with the given condition. For instance, if the patient is suffering from a kidney problem that does not respond to treatment, the internist may need a nephrologist to take over. All-in-all, internists are very important in the field of medicine because they understand how the entire human body works.
In today's complex medical environment, internists take pride in caring for their patients for life -- in the office or clinic, during hospitalization and intensive care, and in nursing homes. 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.
Internists can choose to focus their practice on general internal medicine, or may take additional training to "subspecialize" in one of 13 areas of internal medicine. Cardiologists, for example, are doctors of internal medicine who subspecialize in diseases of the heart. The training an internist receives to subspecialize in a particular medical area is both broad and deep. Subspecialty training (often called a "fellowship") usually requires an additional one to three years beyond the standard three year general internal medicine residency.