An Overview of Internal Medicine & Its Sub-Specialties

Most of the time people suffer from any disease or illness that affects their internal body organs. Sometimes, various disorders affect individual internal organ while some diseases affect different internal organs at one time. The medical specialty that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and care of those diseases or illnesses that affect internal organ(s) of the body of adults, adolescents or elderly is called as Internal Medicine. The physician who specializes in Internal Medicine is commonly called as Internist or Internal Medicine Doctor or Internal Medicine Physician. The Internist provides long-term and comprehensive care in office or in hospital and manages both common and complex illnesses and diseases in adolescents, adults and elderly. They are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of infections, cancers, and diseases affecting blood, brain, heart, kidneys, spinal cord, liver, joints and muscles, digestive, respiratory and vascular systems.

Here’s what you need to know about Internal Medicine and its sub-specialties:

What are the primary responsibilities of Internal Medicine physician?

The important responsibilities of Internist include:

  • Maintaining health and screening of disease
  • Understanding the prevention of disease, substance abuse and mental health
  • Diagnosing and caring acute and chronic medical conditions
  • Managing those patients having complex and multiple medical problems
  • Serving as consultant to other disciplines such as obstetrics, surgery and family medicine
  • Effectively treating some common problems of the skin, eyes, ears, nervous system and reproductive organs

What is the difference between Internal Medicine doctor and family medicine doctor?

According to a primary care physician: “We’re all primary care physicians, but the biggest difference is internal medicine doctors are like adult paediatricians.” It means that a paediatrician provides medical care to the children, an Internal Medicine doctor provide medical care to adults and often adolescents and a family medicine doctor cares for both adults and children (he/she is both a paediatrician and an Internist).

Who are General Internal Medicine Practitioners?

General Internal Medicine Practitioners are those Internists who go into the practice after completing their basic three years Internal Medicine training. They handle a broad range of various diseases affecting the adults at the same time and they are not limited to treat any specific medical condition of specific organ or system. They are capable to deal with any condition a patient brings, whether it is rare and complex.

What are the sub-specialties of Internal Medicine?

Internists have the option either to continue their practice in general Internal Medicine or to get additional training in sub-specialty of Internal Medicine. This additional training requires one to three years in addition to the basic three years training. The various sub-specialties are:

  • Adolescent medicine:

It involves treating various diseases or illnesses affecting young adults.

  • Allergy and immunology:

It involves the treatment and management of disorders related to immune system.

  • Cardiology:

It involves the diagnosis, treatment and management of cardiovascular system (heart and vascular system).

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism:

It focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of problems associated with endocrine system (glandular) and metabolic disorders.

  • Gastroenterology:

It focuses on diagnosing and treating disorders related to gastrointestinal tract which includes esophagus, stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, small intestine, colon and rectum.

  • Hematology:

It deals with the disorders related to the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system.

  • Infectious diseases:

This sub-specialty focuses on diagnosing and treating various infections which include viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal infections.

  • Nephrology:

This sub-specialty focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of Kidney diseases.

  • Oncology:

It focuses on diagnosing and treating benign and malignant cancers.

  • Pulmonary disease:

It involves the diagnosis and treatment of those disorders related to the respiratory system which includes lungs, thoracic cavity, upper airways and chest wall.

  • Rheumatology:

This sub-specialty focuses on diagnosing and treating diseases of joints and muscles.

  • Sleep medicine:

This sub-specialty is devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders or disturbances.

When should you consult Internal Medicine doctor?

When you have medical problem such as Diabetes, high cholesterol or you’re experiencing any common illness such as flu or fever, or you are facing any mental health condition such as depression or anxiety even the pains that you unable to figure out, in all these cases, an Internist will be the concerned person who helps you. If you need a specialist then your Internist makes the referral and coordinates with the specialist ensuring that you better understand the treatment plan.

The Internal Medicine physicians at Island Medical Consultants have over 30 years of experience in treating the most challenging and complex cases. These award winning specialists at our Internal Medicine clinic in NYC provide quality treatment plan with personalized care and a regular follow-up sessions. So, if you’re experiencing any illness or medical problem then fill out our contact form or you can also call us for immediate response on (718)-727-1898.