What Does an Internal Medicine Doctor Do?
An internal medicine (IM) doctor, or an internist, is a doctor in the field of inpatient care. IM doctors are different than Family Practice doctors in which they focus mostly in treating and preventing illnesses of adults. In Family Practice, doctors deal with the treatment of children, adults, and the elderly.
Just like Family Practice, IM is a residency by itself and most doctors are hospitalist physicians. Internal medicine has a wide range of specialties with rewarding salaries which attracts most of the medical school graduates.
IM Sub-specialties Include:
* Adolescent medicine
* Allergy and immunology
* Cardiology (heart)
* Endocrinology (diabetes and other glandular disorders)
* Gastroenterology (colon and intestinal tract)
* Geriatrics (care of the elderly)
* Hematology (blood)
* Infectious disease
* Nephrology (kidneys)
* Oncology (cancer)
* Pulmonology (lungs)
* Rheumatology (arthritis)
* Sports medicine
Medical students who do not want to jump into any specialty can just complete 3 years of residency to complete the general requirements to be an internists. Internal medicine can also be referred as a “general practitioner” with whom basic treatment is conducted.
How Much do Internists Make?
As of January 2011, the lowest an internist makes without any sub-specialties, is $146,525 and the highest they make is $227,419. However, experience increases the salary numbers so, salary increases exponentially with time. Also, internists who work in rural areas make more money than internists who work in the urban areas.
How to be an Internal Medicine Doctor?
1) 4 years of undergraduate course with pre-medicine coursework
2) 4 years of medical school
3) 3 years of internal medicine residency
4) Pass USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS, and Step 3
5) Pass the Internal Medicine board certification exam.
What’s the Job Like?
One of my buddies is an hospitalist, and he works as an attending doctor. He works 7 days straight, and the next 7 days he is off. Overall, he works 6 out of the 12 months of the year and he is breaking 6 figures.
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