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What does an internal medicine doctor treat?

Apr 10, 2023

Internists, or internal medicine doctors, are medical experts who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of adult illnesses. These physicians are trained to treat a broad variety of health conditions affecting the human body's internal organs and systems. They are also trained to identify and handle multiple conditions that can occur in a patient at the same time, making them a valuable resource for patients with complicated health needs.

Internists tend to work in various healthcare settings, including private practices, hospitals, and clinics. They may also work as consultants to other physicians, providing expert opinions on complex medical cases. Access Health Care Physicians is associated with some of the best internal medicine primary care physicians.

Here, we will take a closer look at the types of illnesses that an internal medicine doctor is equipped to handle.

1. Chronic Conditions

Chronic diseases are one of the main areas of focus for internal medicine doctors. These chronic illnesses can impact various bodily parts and frequently necessitate ongoing treatment and management. An internal medicine doctor may address the following chronic conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Arthritis and more

2. Infectious Diseases

Infectious illness diagnosis and treatment is another field of expertise for internal medicine doctors. These are infections brought on by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. Infectious diseases that an internal medicine physician may address include Influenza (the flu), Pneumonia, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Lyme disease, Meningitis, and Sepsis.

3. Digestive System Disorders

Internal medicine doctors are also educated to diagnose and treat digestive system disorders such as ulcers, hepatitis, GERD, and cirrhosis. These include esophageal, stomach, intestine, liver, gallbladder, and pancreatic disorders.

4. Respiratory System Disorders

Internal medicine doctors are equipped to diagnose and treat disorders of the respiratory system. These include conditions that affect the lungs and airways, like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and pulmonary embolisms.

5. Endocrine System Disorders

The endocrine system is in charge of producing hormones that control different bodily functions. Internal medicine physicians are trained to identify and treat endocrine system disorders that can affect a person's metabolism, growth, and reproductive functions. An internal medicine doctor may treat the following endocrine system disorders:

  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Adrenal gland disorders
  • Pituitary gland disorders
  • Ovarian and testicular disorders

6. Neurological Disorders

Internal medicine doctors are also educated to identify and treat nervous system disorders. These disorders include those affecting the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. An internal medicine doctor may handle the following neurological disorders:

  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuropathy

7. Mental Health Disorders

Internal medicine doctors are trained to identify and treat mental health disorders in addition to physical health problems. These are conditions that have an impact on a person's ideas, emotions, and behaviors. For example, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and eating disorders.

8. Preventive Care

Internal medicine doctors are also responsible for delivering preventive care to their patients. This includes routine check-ups, health screenings, such as cancer and blood pressure screenings, and vaccinations to help avoid illness and disease.

Importance of Internal Medicine Doctors

1. Comprehensive Medical Care

Adult patients receive complete medical care from internists. They are trained to diagnose and treat a broad variety of medical conditions and to provide whole-body care. Internists investigate the underlying causes of their patient's illnesses and devise personalized therapy plans to meet their specific requirements.

2. Coordination of Care

Internists are often able to organize care for patients with complicated medical needs because they are trained to recognize and manage multiple conditions that can occur at the same time. This is particularly essential for older adults and patients with chronic illnesses who may see multiple specialists.

3. Preventive Care

Internists play an important role in preventive care. They provide routine health screenings and vaccinations to help prevent illness and disease. They also work with their patients to develop healthy lifestyle habits that can help prevent chronic conditions from developing or progressing.

4. Continuity of Care

Internists often develop long-term relationships with their patients. This allows them to provide continuity of care, meaning they can track a patient's health over time and adjust their treatment plan as needed. This can be especially important for patients with chronic conditions who require ongoing management and support.

5. Expertise in Complex Medical Cases

Internists are trained to deal with complex medical cases, and they often serve as consultants to other physicians. They can provide expert opinions on difficult-to-diagnose cases or cases that involve multiple conditions. This can help ensure that patients receive the best possible care.

6. Cost-Effective Care

Internists are often able to provide cost-effective care to their patients. Because they are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of health conditions, they may be able to manage multiple conditions with fewer specialists involved. They may also be able to provide preventive care and early intervention that can help reduce the need for more expensive treatments later on.

Internal medicine physicians provide complete medical care, coordinate care for complex cases, preventive care, continuity of care, expertise in complex medical cases, and cost-effective care. Internists can provide personalized care that helps patients keep good health and manage chronic conditions by working closely with their patients. As a result, having an internal medicine specialist nearby is critical. By visiting this physician directory, you can find a list of highly recommended primary care physicians in your area.