Internal medicine “The unknown specialty”
Many people ask, what is an internist? , who does an internist treat? Or when would you go to an internist? Nowadays; it seems that for the majority of people it is evident which ailments other specialists take care of; however internal medicine seems to be the great unknown.
Internal medicine is characterised as complete and integrated clinical attention – fundamentally of adult patients, ranging from consultation to hospital services. Internists take care of patients who suffer from multiple illnesses, giving direction and establishing norms for a more complete treatment. At the same time it is often the speciality to which patients without a clear diagnosis, patients with rare diseases or autoimmune illnesses are referred. Also included in this field are infectious diseases like HIV and the control of hospital acquired or nosocomial infections. Under these circumstances the internist often provides the complete range of medical care to patients with multiple risk factors such as cardiovascular problems, arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus type 2, dyslipidemia (cholesterol problems), obesity, and thrombophilia ( coagulation problems) . Plus Geriatrics and Palliative care often fall within the scope of this speciality.
Nowadays, there is a tendency not only specialise but also to sub- specialise in different areas within medicine. This provides greater expertise in certain subjects. Nevertheless the patient, as a person is a whole, and when ill their balance can be upset on many levels. It is important that the doctor does not lose sight of the overall picture of their patient, and indeed this is what characterises this specialty, seeing the patient as a whole, being supported by all the different specialties in medicine when required, looking for the optimisation of available resources with the sole objective of obtaining the total or partial improvement in the health of the individual patient.