Internal medicine physicians are experts in adult healthcare. Sometimes they are referred to as “internists” or “general internists.” They have had extensive training in the prevention and treatment of adult diseases, both chronic and acute, and provide care for patients from their late teenage years and on.
Because of their specialized knowledge, internal medicine physicians are often called upon as consultants to other physicians to help solve complex or puzzling diagnostic problems. They are trained to deal with any issue a patient may have from preventive care and common disorders to chronic disease. And although they are primary care providers, they do not treat children or deliver babies, or perform surgeries, as family and general practitioners do.
Some internists are additionally trained and board-certified in specialties. For example, an internal medicine physician may be certified in cardiology or geriatrics. Internal medicine physicians are also good at unraveling diagnostic “knots” and treating patients who have several chronic illnesses at one time.