Internal medicine encompasses episodic care for acute symptoms, management of chronic disease, and disease prevention, and broadly reaches across mental, emotional, and social concerns involving the health, wellness, and function of the individual. Internal medicine physicians have the experience, knowledge, and skill to evaluate a very vast array of symptoms in order to correctly diagnose an individual and manage acute and chronic diseases as well as deliver preventative services. The emergence of patient-centered care has revolutionized the discipline of internal medicine.
Internal medicine physicians who apply the model of patient-centered care to their practice and treatment of patients apply best evidence to all decision making, coordination of care, and management of health care teams and providers, with a dominant, special focus on the individual patient’s symptoms, health history, and unique needs.
One major focus of internal medicine is health maintenance, including overall health and wellness promotion, disease prevention, counseling, patient education, diagnosis and treatment. The marriage of internal medicine and patient-centered care is concerned with maintaining the complete, “undifferentiated” patient, an important aspect unique to this branch of medicine. Another unique characteristic of internal medicine is that primary care serves as both the entry for complete care and the continuing resource for all of a patient’s medical and healthcare needs, not limited by problem origin, organ system, or diagnosis. Medical internists consistently advocate for the patient in coordinating the use of the entire healthcare system to benefit the patient.
A routine, annual physical examination is the gold standard and necessary component of internal medicine primary care. A physical is both an opportunity for the patient to confirm that he or she is well and also ask the doctor any questions he or she may have about any health concerns. Routine physical exams promote preventative medicine, health maintenance, and disease prevention. At your physical exam, your doctor will take your health history, assess your vital signs and general appearance, and perform heart, lung, head and neck, abdominal, neurological, dermatological, neurological and extremities exams, as well as cancer screenings.
NHIIM treats acute and chronic diseases originating from the following, non-exclusive list of body systems: gastroenterology, cardiology, pulmonology, infectious disease, endocrinology, nephrology, rheumatology, general internal medicine, critical care medicine, geriatrics.