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.
Internists 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. They also bring to patients an understanding of wellness (disease prevention and the promotion of health), women's health, substance abuse, mental health, as well as effective treatment of common problems of the eyes, ears, skin, nervous system, and reproductive organs.
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. The training Internists receive 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.
Adolescent medicine is a medical subspecialty that focuses on care of patients who are in the adolescent period of development, generally ranging from the last years of elementary school until graduation from high school (some doctors in this subspecialty treat young adults attending college at area clinics, in the subfield of college health). Patients have generally entered puberty.
Allergy and Immunology
An area of expertise over managing asthma and allergic diseases. An allergy is an abnormal, acquired sensitivity to a given substance, including pollen, drugs, food, venom or numerous other environmental triggers. An allergy is a local or systemic inflammatory response to allergens. Often times symptoms are swelling of the nasal mucosa, itchy burning eyes, sneezing, wheezing, fullness in the ears and various skin rashes such as hives, or anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal reaction.
The branch of medicine that deals with diseases and abnormalities of the heart.
The branch of physiology and medicine concerned with endocrine glands and hormones.
The branch of medicine that deals with disorders of the stomach and intestines.
An area of expertise in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease and disability in older adults and the aging process.
A branch of medicine concerning the study of blood, the blood-forming organs, and blood diseases.
A specialty focusing on disorders caused by organisms — such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites.
A specialty of medicine and pediatrics that concerns itself with the study of normal kidney function, kidney problems, the treatment of kidney problems and renal replacement therapy (dialysis and kidney transplantation).
A branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.
A specialized area of medicine in the diagnosis and treatment of lung conditions and diseases.
Specialty in the areas of arthritis, autoimmune diseases, pain disorders affecting joints, and osteoporosis. There are over 200 types of these diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, lupus, back pain, osteoporosis, and tendinitis.
A branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise.