General Internal Medicine Physicians

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Also known as:
Doctor, Gastroenterologist, General Internal Medicine Physician, General Internist, Internal Medicine Doctor, Internal Medicine Physician (IM Physician), Internist, Medical Doctor (MD), Physician, Primary Care Physician

ABOUT GENERAL INTERNAL MEDICINE PHYSICIAN CAREERS
Video transcript

Many medical doctors specialize in treating a particular illness or part of the body... but internists are general doctors who see adult patients for all their medical needs. They usually act as either primary care providers, or as inpatient doctors known as hospitalists. These doctors are experts in medical conditions that affect the vital organs of the abdomen and chest. But, they also treat conditions that affect other areas of the body such as joints and the brain. Internists who provide primary care... work in outpatient clinics. There, they diagnose and treat common health problems and help patients manage chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. They prescribe medications and give advice on preventing disease as well, such as which vaccines to get and healthy nutrition options. They also document patients' test results, examination notes, and medical history. Internists may provide regular care for patients for many years at clinics, or see patients just once in urgent care settings. They are frequently exposed to infectious diseases, and must be able to manage stressful situations treating very sick or dying patients. Becoming an internist requires four years of medical school after college, and three years of residency training. Training includes long hours, night shifts and irregular schedules. General internists may pursue additional training in specialties such as cardiology or gastroenterology.

SNAPSHOT
Diagnose and provide nonsurgical treatment for a wide range of diseases and injuries of internal organ systems. Provide care mainly for adults and adolescents, and are based primarily in an outpatient care setting.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
MED
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Prepare government or organizational reports on birth, death, and disease statistics, workforce evaluations, or the medical status of individuals.

Immunize patients to protect them from preventable diseases.

Provide consulting services to other doctors caring for patients with special or difficult problems.

Advise surgeon of a patient's risk status and recommend appropriate intervention to minimize risk.

Monitor patients' conditions and progress and reevaluate treatments as necessary.

Manage and treat common health problems, such as infections, influenza or pneumonia, as well as serious, chronic, and complex illnesses, in adolescents, adults, and the elderly.

Prescribe or administer medication, therapy, and other specialized medical care to treat or prevent illness, disease, or injury.

Collect, record, and maintain patient information, such as medical history, reports, or examination results.

Refer patient to medical specialist or other practitioner when necessary.

Provide and manage long-term, comprehensive medical care, including diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of diseases, for adult patients in an office or hospital.

Make diagnoses when different illnesses occur together or in situations where the diagnosis may be obscure.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Therapy and Counseling Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
TOP SKILLS
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.