Medicine is a profession with different areas of specialization. One of these is Internal Medicine. An Internal Medicine Physician is also known as an Internist. As the name implies, their job involves the internal body organs. They diagnose and treat infections and diseases in internal body parts. They attend mostly to adults, but do not perform surgeries.
Like every other field in Medicine, Internal Medicine Physicians consult and provide diagnoses from symptoms and tests. They also prescribe and administer medications. However, if the situation warrants surgery, they hand over the case to a surgeon.
In the long run, these people become very acquainted with these body parts and peculiar health issues.
Internal Medicine Physicians have very cordial relationships with their patients. They also extend comfort, compassion, and empathy to them. As the years go by, they learn so much. This, however, takes them to the point that they become qualified to lecture in Medical Schools and Colleges.
It is indeed an interesting field to major in. Let’s find out more about their duties.
Responsibilities of an Internal Medicine Physician
The duties of an Internal Medicine Physician include but are not limited to the following:
- Consulting patients.
- Collecting patients’ past and present medical histories.
- Prescribing laboratory tests.
- Prescribing scans and X-rays.
- They are also involved in prescribing medications.
- Administering medications.
- Documenting every patient-specific case.
- Training and teaching students and also younger staff.
- Referring to cases that they cannot handle.
- Handing over surgical cases to the surgeon.
- Counseling patients on the importance of adhering to their drugs.
- Explaining procedures patients will have to undergo to them and also their relatives.
- Analyzing and also interpreting test results.
- Documenting every stage of consultation.
- Monitoring patient’s response to therapy.
- Carrying out public enlightenment programs on health topics.
- Immunizing patients or administering vaccines.
- Supervising nurses and also auxiliary workers.
- Researching trends and also disease patterns, etc.
Qualifications for practice as an Internal Medicine Physician
As stated earlier, an Internal medicine Physician must have completed a college education in the medical field. The following are necessary:
- A pre-medicine degree. This is usually in a science or medical-related course. It can be Biology, Chemistry, Microbiology, etc.
- A degree in Medicine and Surgery. This is proof of attendance at medical school.
- A one-year training as a House Officer.
- A 3 to 6-year training as a resident in the Internal Medicine department.
- An updated license.
Other skills are also necessary to succeed as a Physician. Such as:
- Good listening skills.
- Ability to pay close attention to details.
- Good observation skills.
- Documentation skills.
- Computer skills and also presentation skills.
- High level of self-confidence.
- Team spirit.
- Analytical skills.
Internal Medicine Physicians are well paid in the United States. They earn an average of $189,000 a year. This is much more in some facilities. Those who, however, work with outpatients and in psychiatries earn more as well.
Internal Medicine Physicians typically work full time. As Medics, they also work on weekends and public holidays, totaling about 40 hours a week.
In the hospital, they work in office settings with computer systems, in the wards where patients are, etc.
In addition, they are usually professionally dressed in their scrubs or overalls. They are also expected to be in Personal Protective Clothing when interacting with a suspected patient.
An Internal Medicine Physician can find relevance in several places such as:
- Health Colleges and Institutions.
- Health care centers.
- Psychiatric homes or hospitals.
The Internal Medicine profession is expected to be on the increase as the years go by. This is because young doctors are increasingly declaring interest in this field.
As one begins a career in this area, he or she is expected to choose an area of specialization. This can be any one of the following:
- Sports Medicine
- Infectious disease
- Endocrinology and also pulmonology
- Adolescent Medicine
In addition, a specialization in any of these fields requires 1 to 3 years of training. After this, a certificate will be issued by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Internal Medicine Physicians are special people who have decided to focus on a unique aspect of Medicine. They offer optimum health care to adults, both inpatients, and outpatients. Their work description is really broad, yet they are involved in training younger doctors as well.
To succeed in this field, one has to be passionate, careful, and full of empathy. Yes, it requires a lot of discipline, but it is very fulfilling. To touch lives positively and leave patients better than they met you is admirable. If you have the skills required, a career as an Internist is noble.