Treat patients for illnesses that appear inside the body.

What does an Internist do?

An Internist is a Physician who specializes in conditions, illnesses, and diseases that are “internal,” or inside the human body. No matter what patients look like outside, Internists know that they have all sorts of issues going on inside them — and they’re committed to preventing, diagnosing, and treating all of them.

As an Internist, you might be a specialist — Cardiologists, Gastroenterologists, Oncologists, and Endocrinologists, for instance, are all Internists, although they have a laser focus on specific body systems and conditions. However, you’re most likely a General Practitioner or Primary Care Physician, which means you’re devoted to the whole-body health and well-being of adult patients.

To that end, you’re the Doctor people see when they have a health-related question, want a medical check-up, or need treatment because they’re sick. When they come to you, your job is to consult with them, examine them, and conduct medical tests. After that, you offer preventative treatments, prescribe medications, and administer in-office therapies. When necessary, you also make referrals to specialists.

Basically, if health care were a war, you’d be on the front lines, spotting and treating common health problems early, then executing a plan to defeat them, all the while funneling patients back to bigger troops with more artillery when you lack the firepower to treat them.