This type of physician must be knowledgeable in different areas, as well as care for patients from adolescence to the very elderly. Below, we will look at the qualifications necessary to become an internal medicine doctor, as well as the type of patients they might encounter.
Internists are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, infectious diseases, digestive disorders, kidney function and much more. These doctors may also train in subspecialties such as, geriatric medicine, pulmonary diseases, sports medicine and hematology just to name a few. Internal medicine doctors may consult with specialists about the referral of their patients. Internists do not usually do surgeries, however, may do minor in office procedures such as removal of moles or administer tests. Internists get to know their patients well, and may counsel them about lifestyle choices and diet. It is the job of the internal medicine doctor, to help their patients manage illnesses and conditions with diet and medication, in a non-invasive way.
What does it take to become an internal medicine doctor? As with any physician, the internist must obtain a bachelor’s degree, and attend a four year medical school to become an MD. After graduating from an accredited medical school, the internist must complete graduate medical education, which includes a one year internship, plus 3 years of residency training. All internists must be able to pass the examinations required by their state and all medical licensing examinations. Internists are most often required to be board certified, which is another examination that is oral and written.
A career in internal medicine has many advantages. Many internists like the personal side of their job, getting to know their patient’s personally and making a difference in their lives. These physicians teach their patient’s how to manage their care over time, and that is extremely rewarding. Also, malpractice insurance is relatively low, since an internist does not perform surgeries. Other specialties, have a much higher liability, due to the nature of their work. An internal medicine doctor does have a very busy schedule, he must manage patient’s in the office 5 days a week, as well as make rounds at the hospital for his patient’s that have been admitted. Most internal medicine doctors want to check up on their own patient’s even if they have been admitted by another physician or specialist. It is all part of the personal relationship they have with their patients. An internist makes a substantial yearly salary. The average salary in 2008 for an internal medicine physician was $200,000.00 a year.
A career in the field of internal medicine is very rewarding. These physicians get involved with their patient’s care and help them make good lifestyle choices, or manage long term illnesses. They treat adolescents, as well as the elderly. If you want to make a difference in peoples lives, a career in internal medicine may be for you.