Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Internal Medicine and the Doctors Who Practice It

Internal medicine is a field in the medical profession in which the professionals diagnose and treat patients who might have adult diseases which they have studied and trained in. This field is rather broad which is why there are some sub-specialties for those who are educated and trained here. They are basically considered as primary care physicians but they cannot be labeled as pediatricians and general practitioners. A good part of their education and training, which is about seven years, is dedicated to learning about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of diseases that affect adults.

Common Diseases

The common diseases that internists treat are quiet numerous. Their practice covers a broad aspect of the field and these diseases often fall under cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, infectious diseases, pulmonology and many more. There are about 13 subspecialties that fall under this field and there are some that have more patients than others. Cardiologists initially study internal medicine for about seven years as the foundation of their subspecialty. There is an additional three to five years in order to focus on the education and training or the cardiologic field. Included in this field are the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease that concern the heart, the blood vessels and the circulation of the blood around the body. Heart diseases, difficulty in breathing and chest pains are usually brought to the attention of the cardiologist.

Endocrinologists have the same foundation as all other internists; about seven years of education and training in medical school. An additional two to three years is necessary to subspecialize in this field. Those who practice here focus on the function and circulation of the human body's hormones. The endocrine system covers a large area of the human body including but not limited to tissues and all other glands common and specific to both the male and female bodies. Internal medicine practitioners who specialize in endocrinology cover most parts of the human body since these parts function with the use of hormones. Gastroenterology covers the digestive system of the human body.

There are a few major parts of this system, including but not limited to the oral cavity, the stomach and the colon. The practitioners of this subspecialty cannot perform any form of surgery on the patient, especially those related to their field unless they have studied surgery separately. Infectious disease is another broad field in which internists can practice with the addition of a few years into their education and training. Their education and training focus on infections that are caused by fungi, bacteria and other sources. They mainly prescribe and are knowledgeable in antibiotics which may be specific to the kinds of infections that plague the human race.

Pulmonology includes, but is not limited to the lungs and the other aspects of the respiratory system, which may include the heart. The internal medicine specialists of this field help to prevent, diagnose and treat most of the diseases found here. Pneumonia, asthma and other respiratory diseases and conditions are covered here.

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