How to become an Internist, General

Overview, Courses, Exam, Colleges, Pathways, Salary

Medicine & Allied Healthcare


Who is Internist, General ?

A General Internist, often referred to as an Internist or Internal Medicine Physician, is a medical doctor specialising in preventing, diagnosing, and treating a wide range of adult health conditions. Internists are trained in internal medicine, encompassing the comprehensive care of adult patients and the management of various diseases and disorders.

General Internists provide primary care and act as adult patients' first point of contact. They conduct thorough medical evaluations, review patients' medical history, perform physical examinations, and order diagnostic tests to assess their overall health and identify any underlying medical issues.

Internists are skilled in managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, respiratory disorders, and gastrointestinal infections. They also provide preventive care, administer vaccinations, offer health screenings, and promote overall wellness.

In addition to primary care, Internists may collaborate with specialists and refer patients to appropriate experts for further evaluation or treatment. They coordinate patient care, manage medication regimens, and offer to counsel on lifestyle modifications and disease prevention.
Internists work in various settings, including private practices, clinics, hospitals, and healthcare organisations. They often establish long-term relationships with patients, providing comprehensive and continuous care throughout their adult lives.

To become a General Internist, extensive medical education is required, including completing a medical degree, residency training in internal medicine, and possibly further specialisation through fellowships.

Typical day at work

What does Internist, General do?

  1. Patient Care: General Internists provide primary care services to adult patients. They conduct comprehensive medical evaluations, review patients' medical histories, perform physical examinations, and order diagnostic tests to diagnose and treat various health conditions.
  2. Disease Management: Internists manage a wide range of acute and chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, respiratory disorders, gastrointestinal issues, and autoimmune conditions. They develop treatment plans, prescribe medications, and monitor patients' progress to optimize their health outcomes.
  3. Preventive Care: Internists emphasize preventive care and health promotion. They provide routine health screenings, administer vaccinations, offer counselling on healthy lifestyle choices, and educate patients about disease prevention and early detection.
  4. Referrals and Collaboration: Internists coordinate care with specialists when necessary. They assess patients' needs and refer them to appropriate specialists for further evaluation or specialized treatment. Internists collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure comprehensive and coordinated patient care.
  5. Patient Education: Internists educate patients about their medical conditions, treatment options, and self-management strategies. They empower patients to actively participate in their healthcare decisions, promote health literacy, and provide resources for patient education.
  6. Continuity of Care: Internists often establish long-term relationships with patients, providing continuous and comprehensive care throughout their adult lives. They manage chronic conditions, monitor health changes, and ensure ongoing medical support for their patients.
  7. Medical Record Documentation: Internists maintain detailed and accurate medical records of patient encounters, including medical histories, examination findings, diagnostic test results, treatment plans, and progress notes. Clear documentation ensures proper communication and continuity of care.
  8. Professional Development: Internists engage in ongoing professional development activities to stay updated with medical advancements and evidence-based practices. They participate in continuing medical education, attend conferences, and read medical literature to enhance their medical knowledge and skills.

Abilities and Aptitude needed

What are the skills, abilities & aptitude needed to become Internist, General?

  1. Medical Knowledge: Extensive knowledge of internal medicine is crucial. General Internists should understand adult health conditions, diseases, diagnostic procedures, treatment options, and evidence-based medicine.
  2. Diagnostic Skills: Proficient diagnostic skills are essential to accurately assess patients' medical conditions. General Internists should be skilled in conducting thorough medical evaluations, interpreting diagnostic tests, and formulating differential diagnoses.
  3. Critical Thinking: The ability to think critically and analytically is vital for General Internists. They should be adept at synthesizing complex medical information, evaluating treatment options, and making informed decisions in patient care.
  4. Problem-Solving: General Internists must possess strong problem-solving skills to effectively address patients' health concerns. They should be able to develop comprehensive treatment plans, manage complex medical conditions, and adapt care strategies based on individual patient needs.
  5. Communication: Excellent communication skills are crucial for General Internists. They must communicate effectively with patients, listen attentively, and explain medical information compassionately and understandably. Clear communication with patients, families, and healthcare team members is essential for coordinated care.
  6. Empathy and Compassion: General Internists should demonstrate empathy and compassion towards patients. They should be able to understand patients' perspectives, provide emotional support, and establish trusting relationships to foster patient comfort and well-being.
  7. Collaboration: General Internists frequently collaborate with other healthcare professionals, specialists, and multidisciplinary teams. They should possess strong teamwork and collaboration skills, effectively communicating and coordinating patient care across healthcare settings.
  8. Time Management: Efficient time management skills are necessary for General Internists to handle a diverse patient population, manage multiple responsibilities, and provide timely care while ensuring attention to detail and accuracy.
  9. Continuous Learning: Given the ever-evolving medical field, General Internists should commit to lifelong learning. They should stay updated with medical advancements, research, and evidence-based practices through continuing medical education, reading medical literature, and attending conferences.

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How to become an Internist, General?

Entrance Exam

Entrance Exam for Internist, General ?


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Which Industries are open for Internist, General?

  1. Hospitals: General Internists are employed in hospitals that provide primary care services to adult patients. They may work in hospital departments, such as internal medicine clinics or general medicine wards.
  2. Private Practices: Many General Internists establish private practices, offering comprehensive primary care services to adult patients. They may work independently or in group practices with other healthcare professionals.
  3. Medical Clinics: General Internists can work in specialized medical clinics focusing on internal medicine or providing multi-speciality care. These clinics offer various services, including preventive care, disease management, and health screenings.
  4. Healthcare Organizations: General Internists may be employed by healthcare organizations, such as healthcare management companies or accountable care organizations (ACOs), to provide primary care services and promote population health.
  5. Academic Institutions: Internists, General can work in educational institutions, including medical schools or teaching hospitals, as faculty members or medical educators. They may be involved in teaching medical students, residents, and fellows.
  6. Government Healthcare Facilities: Government-run healthcare facilities, such as public hospitals, community health centres, or Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, often hire General Internists to provide primary care services to patients.
  7. Research and Medical Institutions: Some General Internists may work in research institutions, participating in clinical trials, medical research projects, or contributing to developing evidence-based medical practices.
  8. Occupational Health: General Internists can also find opportunities in occupational health settings, providing medical care and health assessments to employees in various industries.


Are there internships available for Internist, General?

  1. Hospitals: Large hospitals, including public, private, and teaching hospitals, often have internship programs for medical students and aspiring Internists. Examples include Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
  2. Medical Clinics: Various outpatient clinics, specialized medical centres, and private practices may offer internships for General Internists. These can include primary care clinics, cardiology clinics, internal medicine clinics, and more.
  3. Academic Medical Centers: Internships may be available at academic medical centres associated with universities and medical schools. These institutions often have robust medical education programs and can offer valuable clinical experiences for interns.
  4. Research Institutions: Research institutions focusing on medical research and clinical trials may have internships for individuals interested in combining research and clinical experience in internal medicine.
  5. Government Health Agencies: Government health agencies at the local, state, and national levels may offer internships in internal medicine. Examples include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local health departments.
  6. Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Companies: Some pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies provide internships that involve working closely with medical professionals, including Internists. These internships can provide exposure to pharmaceutical research, clinical trials, and drug development.
  7. Nonprofit Healthcare Organizations: Nonprofit organizations focused on healthcare, and public health may offer internships for aspiring Internists. Examples include the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and Doctors Without Borders.
  8. Medical Associations and Societies: Professional medical associations and societies, such as the American College of Physicians (ACP) or the American Medical Association (AMA), may provide internship opportunities for medical students and young physicians interested in internal medicine.

Career outlook

What does the future look like for Internist, General?

The future for General Internists appears promising as the demand for primary care physicians continues to grow. With an ageing population and increasing chronic health conditions, the need for comprehensive medical care provided by Internists is expected to remain high. General Internists will coordinate patient care, manage complex medical conditions, and promote preventive healthcare. Advancements in technology and telemedicine may also enhance the delivery of primary care services. Overall, the career outlook for Internist, General is expected to be favourable, offering stable employment opportunities and potential for professional growth.