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Internal Medicine: Characteristics You Want in This Type of Doctor

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Having a chronic problem that just won’t go away on its own is extremely frustrating. And while you may have gone to one doctor after another, it may be time to see some internal medicine.

An internal medicine doctor has more specialized training than a general practitioner. Also, this doctor doesn’t focus on things like pediatrics or obstetrics. The primary role of this doctor is to diagnose, treat, and prevent problems in all areas of the adult human body. So when trying to find one that suits your needs, there are a few things to keep in mind.


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The only reason to see an internal medicine doctor is to get an answer to some of your most troubling health issues. If you have exhausted all other options such as family doctors or general practitioners, an internist is the next logical step. These doctors have made careers solving complex medical problems in adults. So make sure you explain your issues and make sure your internist has your full medical history. That way he or she can try to find the root of your problem. Also, an internal medicine doctor will have attended school for at least seven or eight years, passed a board exam, and specialized in a particular field, so he or she will be well-prepared for your problem, whatever it is. For example, if your problem is related to the heart, you should see a cardiologist. On the other hand, if you have reproductive issues, a reproductive specialist is best.

Good communication

In addition to specialist knowledge, it is important that you communicate well with your doctor, especially when it comes to internal medicine. That’s because this doctor has the knowledge and experience to help you figure out what’s causing your problem. Still, you want him or her to be patient and really listen to your problems. These doctors see numerous patients every day, but that doesn’t mean you should feel rushed by your visit. So when choosing a good internist, pay attention to how he or she speaks and listens to you. If you feel like your doctor has not given you the time you need, then you need to keep looking because communication is key when trying to find an internal medicine doctor.


If you’ve been referred to an internist, it means your GP hasn’t had any luck figuring out what’s causing your problem. Or if he or she knows the problem, he may not know how to handle it; but becomes an internist. Unfortunately, if your internist won’t be able to see you for two months, then that’s a problem. Depending on your issue, you might be able to wait, but for most people, this is not acceptable. Instead, you should keep looking until you find a specialist who can treat you in a reasonable amount of time. Even if you find a good internal medicine doctor and make an appointment, you want him or her to keep your appointment. If you always wait longer than an hour to see your doctor, you may need to look for a new doctor.

Thanks to Anna Woodward

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