The Internist is the person most adults think of first and foremost as their personal physician.
Most Internists see patients in the outpatient setting for their general medical needs. This includes acute and chronic illnesses, disease prevention, screening, patient education and follow-up care from hospitalization.
Additionally, most Internists see patients in the hospital and manage their acute illnesses. This includes their own patients as well as those referred to them by other practitioners. Internists are qualified to manage complex illness in the critical care area, as well as general medical conditions.
Internists also often serve as experts in complex medical disease and receive referrals from family practice, surgery and
other fields. The Internist is trained in many procedures in several disciplines, and can perform these independently. Internists also are trained to meet the special needs of the growing geriatric population, including those in skilled nursing homes, residential facilities and the patient’s home.
In summary, the internist cares for all medical needs of the adult patient, from simple to complex, from the outpatient setting into the hospital, and through many of the indicated procedures the patient may need.