An internist or Internal Medicine or Family Practice or General Practice doctor is someone who specializes in diagnosing and treating illnesses, diseases, and health problems. Most internists are also primary care doctors and treat patients on a regular basis. They can diagnose and treat common illnesses or more serious problems. Most people see an internist regularly. Those with chronic illnesses may do so on a monthly or even weekly basis. Internists are the most common types of doctors.
To become an internist, a person must first complete an accredited undergraduate program. Next, they must complete medical school. Most internists attend medical school for at least four years, but some can go for as long as seven years. Internists also study for three more years in a residency. During the residency, they learn but also work in a hospital or clinic under the supervision of an experienced internist. Some internists also specialize in other medical areas and may attend more college courses to become certified in those areas.
Internists treat a variety of different illnesses and diseases. They are often the first professional help that a patient seeks and diagnose the illnesses as well as treat them. Some of the most common diseases that internists treat include:
Internists don’t just treat diseases; they also diagnose them. That means they must use a variety of tests and procedures to help them diagnose the diseases properly. Some of these tests may include:
There are several types of internists, and each one is focused on helping their patients in the best way possible. The different types of internists are called specialists. Specialists have trained in certain areas of medical science and are more experienced with certain diseases or certain parts of the body. Some of the different internal medicine specialties include:
Most people see their primary doctors anytime they are sick or feel like there is a problem. They may also see the internist for annual checkups. Most primary doctors are internists and will treat and diagnose their patients based on their symptoms. Some reasons to see an internist include: