Why Choose Internal Medicine?

Why choose internal medicine?  This  anesthesiologist wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole: Internal Medicine. Are you kidding me?  Couldn't stand the constant rounds every morning during med school.  The endless mental masturbation on the eighteenth differential diagnosis of hemoptysis and fever just bored me out of my mind.  What's worse, once you're in private practice, you are perceived as a mental midget by the subspecialists, someone who couldn't cut it in a subspecialty field.  You are left with the hypertensive, diabetic, COPD, poorly compliant patients that nobody else wants to handle.  Definitely out.

I chose internal medicine because nothing else was hard enough.   What kind of doctor should I be? The test said I should have been an occupational medicine doctor.  Internal medicine was 35th on the list, right in front of dead last #36, family practice.  At least the test got something right.  Many physicians choose internal medicine because it provides a life long experience of challenging clinical medicine.  As internists, we see take care of most medical conditions in one form or another.  Even though we don't do surgery and we don't deliver babies, we still take care of surgical and obstetrical patients in a consultative role.  As a hospitalist, my daily experience is filled with the routine diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, pneumonia, COPD, cellulitis and on and on.  But I also get involved in zebras like diagnosis Jobs syndrome when nobody else could.

Physicians who choose to specialize in internal medicine train are given the foundation to consider subspecializing in a further field of medicine.  Cardiology, nephrology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, infectious disease, pulmonology are just a few of the most common specialized training fellowships internal medicine physicians can choose to enter if they so desire.   While general internal medicine is professionally satisfying, it also offers plenty of opportunities for physicians who may choose to further specialize in additional training programs.  

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