Why a Career in Internal Medicine Can Open More Doors
Any career is full of paths to choose, and medicine is no exception. If you’re studying to be a doctor, residency training can take you into a specialist role that focuses on a particular organ, surgery, or even concentrating on a particular age group (geriatrics, children, etc.). Often overlooked for a stronger focused specialty or surgical practice, broadly focusing on the general medical needs of adults in an internal medicine setting is a great way to grow your career. Here’s what you need to know.
Benefits of Choosing Internal Medicine
General internal medicine specialists get to know the entire patient, often treating them for years. Unlike a specialty practice that comes in when a patient is sick, a general internist gets to practice preventative healthcare. For example, your patients may include diabetics who need counsel on improving their diet and exercise. This kind of preventative healthcare is exactly the crux of population health initiatives that seek to reduce the costs of healthcare by preventing illness from occurring. For some patients, connecting the dots between their behaviors and their health is a critical part of giving them a much better life in the long run.
General internists often help patients with multiple chronic diseases. They are the troubleshooters of the healthcare field, often dealing with mixed comorbidities such as heart disease, diabetes, and COPD, for example. This requires many consultations to both monitor these illnesses to improve care and work closely with the patient to avoid medication contraindications.
Another benefit is the sheer number of options available if you choose a general internist position to pursue. You could become a hospitalist or an internist. You could use it as a baseline to become a specialty doctor such as a cardiologist or oncologist. Also, the settings you work in could vary. From community hospitals to large tertiary facilities as part of a big-name system, all are available for a general internal medicine specialist.
While these roles can be a steppingstone, they can also stand on their own as a specialty area. However, the training you receive I relatively short when compared to other practice areas. It’s the flexibility of the role that is attractive to many new doctors just stepping into their healthcare careers. One healthcare system interviewed their internal medicine providers who have these insightful reasons for stepping into their field:
- “As a general internist, I get to both think deeply about diagnosis and treatment and consider the needs of the whole patient in management plans (not just one of their organ systems).”
- “My career path as a generalist provided me the opportunity to pursue multiple, diverse research areas and practice medicine across the entire spectrum of clinical care.”
- “My true passion is complex interactions of systems, broad thinking and the longitudinal relationships I am privileged to develop with my patients. These are hallmarks of a general internist.”
If you’re an internist looking for a new opportunity, call on us. MedSource Consultants works with healthcare professionals to help place them in the perfect opportunity—no matter what their career path. Contact us today to find out more.