Why Internal Medicine Matters

Medicine is a broad and complex field that seems to expand every year; we know this as normal and expect this since it is an advanced science that constantly changes. Despite the developments made in modern medicine for centuries now, disease finds a way to ravage the living organisms in this world. How do we combat this threat that sneaks up on us when we are just trying to live our busy lives? This is why Internal Medicine matters.

A good place to start when answering this is to look at some of the different types of medical professionals available. For today, let us take a close look at internists.

Basics of Internal Medicine

“Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness.”

-American College of Physicians

Internal medicine is a branch of medical practice revolving around the treatment of adults. A physician that specializes in this is known as an “internist.” It is possible for one to care for children in addition but that would be known as something different and not simply an internist.

After years of rigorous of studying and medical training, many will go into this field; preventing disease, treating various illnesses including chronic illness and keeping your health in tiptop shape. They are equipped to deal with virtually any diagnostic problem you may have! In addition, it does not matter whether or not there are multiple issues at the same time or if they are severe – your internist will do all they can to make sure you are healthy. They may serve in different settings including hospitals.

Internists can also “subspecialize” in a more specific area such as the heart or immune system. This requires approximately one to three more years of training depending on the specialization and is quite in-depth. In these cases, the practitioner would not be known as a simply an internist but rather by what they subspecialized in. If you have a certain illness or ailment, an internist (this can also apply to other fields of medicine) may refer you to a specialist – take a cardiologist for example. This does not mean they do not care about you; they simply want you to find the right help.

So, what makes internal medicine different than the others? To understand this better – take a brief look at the history of internal medicine.

A Brief History

Sir William Osler (1849-1918), widely regarded as the father of modern medicine, was answering house calls long before it was popular; except instead of coming to the home of a person calling, he took the time to sit down and talk to his patients.

Osler was not only one of the four founders of John Hopkins Hospital but the creator of the first residency program for medical students, requiring them to stop hitting the books and instead hit the bedside for patients. His attitude and understanding of human nature and how it can be negatively impacted by disease is followed by physicians even today.

In general, an Internist is more hands-on and personal.

Why Does Internal Matter, Then?

As stated in the beginning of this article – medicine is a complex and ever-evolving field of science. As it develops further, more and more options are available for you to receive treatment. Therefore, it is in your best interest to be properly informed and seek the correct resource available. But how does one know what to choose? In this case, if you are an adult and do not already have a family physician, or if you would like to locate a different medical professional in the same area, consider an internist. If you have a problem with a certain organ – or even multiple areas at once, consider locating an internist subspecialist.

Some of the conditions and Internal Medicine Practitioner can help you with are:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease
  • Asthma
  • Kidney failure

Every person must have an internist as the gatekeeper of their health from adulthood to the grave. We keep people healthy by carrying out preventive care and managing chronic diseases with or without a subspecialist.

To see more information about what an internist is or does, please visit American College of Physicians (ACP).