Sometimes people confuse an internist with an intern. The internist has spent four years in school, another four in medical school, plus three or more years in a residency in a hospital. The intern has completed that education, but is only serving the first year of a residency. He is still working under the supervision of other doctors.
Diseases that are complex and difficult to treat will be presented to the doctor of internal medicine. Chronic disorders, mental health disorders and addiction to any of a number recreational drugs are the ones handled by the internist. In addition, she or he sees patients with routine maladies.
This physician takes a person from early adulthood to end-of-life care. In the case of a person requiring surgery or being placed in a nursing home, she will oversee the care received from other doctors and nurses. In the case of pregnancy, she will coordinate care with the obstetrician and any specialists that may be needed.
An internist may work as a general practitioner. He may, in addition to treating diseases and diagnosing difficult cases, specialize in one area. He may be specifically trained as a cardiologist or gastroenterologist, for example. The internist continues to treat other conditions as well.
She or he can deal with complex breakdown of major bodily systems, such as the cardiopulmonary or nervous system. She may have a subspecialty in neurology although it is not the only system she or he treats. She treats them all, from minor to complex.
She will continue to conduct annual physical exams, immunize patients, monitor blood pressure and provide preventative care. She does all the things a family practice doctor does. Her practice is limited to adult patients, however.
The American Board of Internal Medicine awards board certification, which has a set of stringent requirements to be met. After being board certified as an internist, a doctor can be acknowledged for a subspecialty such as oncology or otolaryngology.
While the doctors in family practice have patients ranging from infants to the geriatric population, internist treats patients from the age of eighteen on up. This is except for the internist with a subspecialty in pediatrics. The lines can be blurred.
More than one physician can collaborate in the treatment of a patient. Internists are often asked to consult on a case that is complex. They will refer a patient to another specialist if that is what is best for that patient.
The older physician will see a wider variety of diseases during his or her long career. The young doctor will bring in new and innovative ideas. Regardless of age, he or she will find that for practicing internal medicine New York offers many opportunities. Regardless of where he practices, a specific number of continuing education credits will be required. He will also keep up with the latest innovations by reading the monthly medical journals that are published.