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As the number of medical students entering the field of internal medicine continues to rise, they must understand what internal medicine is and how it can benefit their patients. In this article, we will talk about the various applications of this discipline and how it can help improve the quality of life for patients.

Basics of Internal Medicine

The primary focus of internal medicine is on treating adults. It involves diagnosing and treating diseases that affect all adults, from chronic ailments to short-term care. After completing a residency, a doctor is referred to as an internist. Internists typically subspecialize in one or a particular illness during their time in this field.

They might specialize in one of the following fields: cardiology, endocrine, or hormonal disorders. Internists can provide the best possible care for their patients with the proper training. 

Since many patients have different medical conditions, they may be required to see different internists. However, this can be very costly and time-consuming. It is important to remember that the care of internists is focused on the individual patient.


After getting their bachelors, internists go to medical school for around 4 years. They then enter a residency program, which generally lasts for three years. Next they can become board-certified in internal medicine during their residency. They will typically require additional training if they decide to specialize in a particular field.

During their academic studies, internists are required to solve medical problems to improve their skills and knowledge. They are also trained to diagnose and treat various illnesses and disorders.

Family Practitioner vs. Internists

Family practitioners and internists are similar in many ways. Although both physicians treat different types of illnesses, they are also different in their specializations. For instance, internists only focus on adults, while family practitioners tend to treat a wide range of issues that affect the whole family unit.

As an internist, they can become board-certified in both pediatrics and internal medicine. This career path is known as Med-Peds, combining the two disciplines.

Benefits of an Internist

Internists’ specific training allows them to diagnose and treat different illnesses. While generalists may treat various conditions, internists with subspecialty training can focus on the most common complications from one illness. They are also highly trained to provide preventive care, such as breast cancer screenings and regular visits to the doctor.

Aside from being able to diagnose and treat different illnesses, internists are also highly capable of communicating with their patients. They can help them keep track of their vitals and make other interoffice communications seamlessly.

When patients are 18 years old, they can start seeing an internist for the first time, depending on their specialty. For decades after they graduate, they can still see the same internist, which can develop a great trusting relationship.