Medicine > Internal Medicine
Doctors of internal medicine focus on adult medicine and have had special study and training hat focusing on the prevention and treatment of adult diseases. At least three of their seven or more years of medical school and postgraduate training are dedicated to learning how to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases that affect adults. Internists are sometimes referred to as the "doctor's doctor," because they are often called upon to act as consultants to other physicians to help solve rare and confusing diagnostic problems.
Internists (not interns who are still in training) are equipped to deal with whatever problem a patient brings no matter how common or rare it may be, or how simple or complex. They are specially trained to solve puzzling diagnostic problems and can handle severe chronic illnesses and situations where several different illnesses may strike at the same time. They also bring patients to an understanding of their own wellness by explaining disease prevention and the promotion of health) women's health, substance abuse, mental health, as well as effective treatment of common problems of the eyes, ears, skin, nervous system and reproductive organs. An example of an internist is a cardiologist, who subspecializes in diseases of the heart. That just means they specialize in all of the diseases of the heart instead of one area in particular.
Where physicians focus primarily on general medicine practices, internists can also choose to subspecialize in other areas of internal medicine. There are 13 subspecialties that internists can choose from. They are: cardiology, sports medicine, adolescent medicine, endocrinology, (glandular disorders and diabetes) gastroenterology, (colon and intestinal tract), geriatrics (elderly) hematology, (blood) infectious disease, nephrology (kidneys) oncology, (cancer) pulmonology (lungs) and rheumatology (arthritis). If you have ever wondered why your physician sometimes disappears before they can give you full information on your specific problem; chances are they consulted an internist for help. That is why internists are called the ‘doctors’ doctor.