Reasons for Visiting an Internist

Internist New York, NY

A primary care doctor can help you maintain your health and prevent disease throughout your life. One type of physician you may visit is an internal medicine doctor, also known as an internist. These physicians are experienced in overseeing the health of the entire body and conditions that may affect it. In addition, they can diagnose illness, prescribe medication, and give you vaccinations. Read more about internists and why they may be the most effective choice for managing your everyday healthcare.

What is an internist?

An internist is a type of physician who specializes in internal medicine. Internal medicine covers a wide range of both acute and chronic health conditions that affect the inside of the body. These conditions can include health issues such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. In addition, they also provide information on how to future health problems and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

After four years of medical school, they will need to enter a residency program; these usually take at least three years to complete but may take longer if one wants to do anything surgical. The future internist can also choose to study a subspecialty through a fellowship program, which requires one to three years to complete.

Typically, internal medical doctors only treat adults. However, they can treat children and adolescents if they receive additional training to become a general practitioner or family medicine doctor.

Reasons to visit an internist

1. They specialize in treating complicated cases

Since internists look at the whole body and its internal organs, they have the training to diagnose and treat complicated patient cases. For example, if a patient has issues with their thyroid gland, the symptoms may vary from weight gain and tiredness to muscle aches and memory problems. These health issues can come from multiple conditions. However, an internist can take note of these symptoms and order thyroid function tests to diagnose and treat the patient's issues.

2. They can treat a variety of medical conditions

Several internal medicine doctors can treat multiple different conditions in one office. As mentioned previously, they may also have subspecialty certification to treat more complex cases. The following are some common conditions that an internist can often treat:

  • Allergies: Several allergies vary in severity. Some can be life-threatening, while others can cause itchy skin and rashes. An internal medicine doctor can test for allergies if a patient has had reactions to certain foods or medications.
  • Diabetes: Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes and require medical care to maintain their symptoms and overall health. An internist is often the first medical professional to notice their patient's blood sugar levels. They can screen for and help treat their diabetes.
  • Heart issues: Heart disease is a very common condition. An internal medicine doctor is typically the first stop for patients who fear they may have it. If they have the proper training, they can also treat these patients but may also refer them to an experienced cardiologist.
  • High cholesterol: When someone has too many fats (lipids) in their blood, it can lead to high cholesterol, which can cause a heart attack or stroke. An internist can test for high cholesterol through a routine blood test. 
  • Hypertension: People with hypertension, or high blood pressure, often do not exhibit any symptoms. However, it can lead to cardiovascular and organ damage if left untreated. An internist can diagnose and treat these individuals with the proper medication to keep them and their organs healthy.

In addition, internists with the appropriate training and education can be certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in several internal medicine subspecialties, such as endocrinology, rheumatology, and nephrology.

3. Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain can be due to several causes. For example, the pain could be caused by something minor, such as gas pains or a stomach illness. However, some patients may experience discomfort in their abdomen if they have acute appendicitis or many different cancers. Those with a tender abdomen and severe pain should seek emergency treatment. In less extreme cases, seeing an internist can help the patient determine where the pain is coming from and then come up with the appropriate treatment.

4. Chest pain

Similar to abdominal pain, chest pain can mean several things. Sometimes, it could be something serious like a heart attack. However, chest pain often comes from issues with the lungs or the gastrointestinal system. It could also be due to heightened anxiety or acid reflux. A patient with symptoms of a heart attack should call 911 for immediate care. However, other cases may be more appropriate for an internal medicine doctor to diagnose and treat.

5. Routine medical care

One of the most important things to establish as an adult is finding a primary care doctor to oversee routine medical care, such as performing annual physicals and vaccinations, writing prescriptions, and ordering laboratory tests. An internal medicine doctor can help patients establish a healthy lifestyle to prevent disease because they work closely with them frequently.

Take control of your health today

If you are currently looking for a primary care doctor, an internist may be an optimal choice. They can provide multiple medical services to treat illness, prevent diseases, and help you maintain your general health. Call our office today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.

Internists are currently accepting new patients in the New York area. To learn more about internal medicine, visit or call (212) 548-3263 to schedule an appointment.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Internist in New York, NY.

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