What Can an Internal Medicine Doctor Treat

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With so many sectors of healthcare, many don’t know what to expect when searching for internal medicine doctor near me. Internal medicine doctors, or internists, treat a variety of health issues in adults. However, it is important to not that they are not general practitioners.

Whereas general practitioners treat patients of all ages, internists typically look at only adult patients. However, before you take your pick of the two, it is important to understand what the internists do and treat.

What to Expect During an Internist Visit?

What happens at an internist consultation will depend on what you want treated. However, there are certain procedures that the internists follow that you can rely on.

Typically, the internist will check your vital signs and go over your medical history. This would also include grazing over the list of medications you are currently on. Your internist will also inquire about your symptoms and general state of current health. They will perform a physical exam to get a snapshot of what your health looks like at the moment.

During your physical exam, your internist will:

  • Take a look at your general physical state such as your posture and movements
  • Monitor your heartbeat for any heart murmurs, irregular rhythm, or odd sounds
  • Observe your breathing checking for wheezing, shortness of breath, or crackles
  • Inspecting your eyes, nose, throat, and ears for any irregularities
  • Examine your skin and nails

The doctor will ask you to take screening tests like lipid panel or bone density test a s wellness check. For certain, more specific issues your doctor will order dedicated tests. Usually, they would be urinalysis or something more detailed like an imaging test. For this you will have to go back to the clinic for a follow-up. If things are much more complicated the internist will refer you to a different specialist.

If you are referred to other specialists, your internist will coordinate with them to devise an accurate treatment plan for you. This will also help them ensure that there are no accidental medication interactions that could turn detrimental.

The best internist would be proactive with your treatment and would also advise lifestyle changes. they will make sure that you can sustain your healing long term without medical intervention. Many internal medicine professionals also check for any underlying mental health issues that could alter their patient’s quality of life.

But Why Go to an Internal Medicine Specialist Anyway?

There are several benefits of visiting an internal medicine doctor. For centuries it has been established that internists are great in diagnosing, treating, and preventing illnesses.

There are three major benefits of going to an internist, that patients might not receive from a general doctor.

Accurate Diagnosis

Internal medicine doctors usually specialize in medical sub-areas like cardiology, immunology, and gastroenterology. They also communicate well with other doctors which allows for better communication and diagnosis. They can also refer the patients to other doctors when necessary.

Appropriate Preventive Care

Internal medicine doctors are not just limited to diagnosing patients and treating underlying conditions. In fact, one of their major goals is to help patients prevent diseases. They encourage patients with potential of certain underlying diseases to book consultations to discuss lifestyle changes as a way of prevention. In fact, many internists would also caution and advise patients of side effects of the current illness they are suffering from. For example, if the internist is aware that a certain condition can result in severe weight loss, they will help the patient manage that first.

Efficient Treatment

Internists are constantly looking for the most effective treatments in the market. whether they are medical tools or drugs, your internist will consistently be on top of every healthcare update. Internal medicine doctors treat through years of schooling and training to specialize in a particular area. This lets them accurately diagnose an illness and treat it.

Getting a precise diagnosis might be difficult to conjure from a family or general doctor. Usually, they might end up referring you to an internist for a better treatment.

What does an Internal Medicine Doctor Treat?

While the range of conditions they treat is extensive, internal medicine doctors don’t have a limit to the illnesses they look at. They not only help patients manage chronic diseases but also conduct routing wellness exams. Plus, they also support patients through serious health conditions.

Here is a detailed look at what your internal medicine doctor can treat:


Internists diagnose and manage common allergies like sinusitis, skin allergies, and pharyngitis. Moreover, they also administer rhinoscopy for a more accurate evaluation of the nose, airways, and throat.

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Cardiovascular issues

While it is important to visit a cardiologist when it comes to your cardiovascular health, you can initially also visit an internist. An internal medicine doctor can treat several mild to moderate issues without needing to spend big bucks on a specialist. The internist can treat

  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Acute decompensated heart failure
  • Cardiogenic shock complicating acute myocardial infarction
  • Cardia arrest
  • Myopericardical disease
  • Failed fibrinolysis or threatened reocclusion in acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction
  • Narrow QRS complex tachycardias
  • New-onset atrial fibrillation

Often an internist can manage a lot of these conditions alone or work with a specialist to prevent complications

Pulmonary issues

Internal medicine doctors often expertly diagnose, manage, and treat conditions related to lungs, thoracic activity, airways, and chest wall. Moreover, they also work on acute respiratory infection instigated by bacteria or fungus. They generally prescribe antibacterial and antifungal drugs.

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Additionally, internists also:

  • Oversee asthmatic issues through peak flow evaluation and drugs like bronchodilators and albuterol inhalers
  • Diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by arterial blood gas analysis or computerized tomography (CT). Once the diagnosis is done, they will consult a pulmonologist for advise on treatment plans.

Orthopedic issues

You can also get minor orthopedic issues, like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, treated by an internal medicine doctor. The physician may ask you to get an MRI or X-ray for better observation of your bone(s). Once the results are in your internist will draw up a medication routine with a possible follow-up schedule. This will help the doctor monitor the effects of the treatment.

How to Pick the Right Internal Medicine Doctor For You

While there is a plethora of doctors to pick from, it is important you do your research before booking an appointment. Here are some things you can keep an eye on:

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Customer service

The internist should be mentally equipped to guide patients through appointment procedures. They should be able to give detailed answers to your questions to help ease any confusion. Clinics with thoughtful customer service not only contribute to healing, but instead sustainability of that recovery.


A professional internist is the one who is empathetic and kind with their patients. It is not only the doctor’s medical expertise that matter, but also how they understand their patients. This enables a long-term patient-doctor relationship and subsequently healing. An internist, a well-researched one, can do wonders for your recovery and health. They are not only equipped with the skills to treat patients with accuracy, but also recommend the right specialists. However, it is so important that you make sure that you are comfort with the doctor if you want to recover completely.

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