A doctor of internal medicine (also known as a physician of internal medicine) specializes in diagnosing, treating, and managing the various diseases and conditions that affect the human body’s internal organs. Doctors of internal medicine may also specialize in a variety of different areas, such as cardiology, sports medicine, infectious disease, or geriatrics. They may work in medical offices, clinics, and hospitals; they may also open their own private practice or partner with other doctors to form a group practice. It is fairly common doctors of internal medicine to work part-time in several different facilities. Their hours vary depending on their chosen work environment, although these physicians typically work over 40 hours per week and are on call for medical emergencies. In private practice, these physicians may work comparatively fewer hours but spend additional time completing administrative tasks.
To become a doctor of internal medicine, a medical doctorate (M.D.) is required. To obtain this degree, four years of medical school are required after earning a bachelor’s degree. After the M.D. is earned, a one-year internship and three years as a resident in a medical setting are required before a license to practice medicine is issued. If the doctor of internal medicine decides to pursue a specialization, they are required to complete an additional one to three years of training. Doctors of internal medicine must pass several certification and licensing exams and are required to pass oral and written exams to become “board certified” by their local licensing board.
Physician / Doctor, Internal Medicine Tasks
- Diagnose and treat problems of the internal organs, such as the liver, heart, and lungs.
- Manage and treat serious, chronic, and complex illnesses.
- Manage and treat common health problems, such as infections, influenza and pneumonia.