Internal Medicine

What is an Internist?

An internal medicine physician (sometimes called an internist), is a physician specializing in comprehensive adult and adolescent medical care and the nonsurgical treatment of disease. They treat from the simple to the complex. (The word “internist” is often confused with “intern”. An intern is a physician one year out of medical school, whereas an internist is a physician specializing in internal medicine.) An internist is both a primary care doctor for adults and adolescents and a specialist. Internal medicine doctors specialize in the care of people with complicated medical problems. For example, you may choose to see an internist if you have a chronic but manageable disease such as diabetes, epilepsy or asthma.


Internists function in many different capacities such as:

  • Diagnosticians
  • Personal physicians
  • Health counselors
  • Educators
  • Consultants