Internists are physicians who provide primary care and/or subspecialty care (in fields
such as cardiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, pulmonology, etc.) to adolescent,
adult and geriatric patients. They provide continuous comprehensive medical care for
acute and chronic diseases and preventive and wellness care. Internists specialize in
the diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of adult patients.
• diagnose and treat those with serious diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease
• treat common health problems, such as hypertension, influenza or pneumonia.
• prescribe and administer drugs and treatments.
• immunize patients to protect them from preventable diseases.
• educate patients for healthier lives.
• may be general internists who provide comprehensive medical care for all adults
or subspecialty internists who have an expertise in a particular area, such as infectious diseases or cardiology.
Internists may work in private practice, hospitals, and/or clinics. Many also are involved
in teaching and research. The demand for trained internists is rapidly increasing because
of their broad base of medical knowledge.
Average Salary Range
$110,000 – $190,000
Students interested in becoming an internist should take the most challenging high school courses available in science, math and English, including advanced placement courses. To enter medical school, students must
have a bachelor’s degree, with a high grade point average in a pre-medical program or other related major. They must pass a national examination (MCAT) and undergo extensive interviews. Upon completion of medical school, students enter three years of post-graduate training (residency) during which they receive training specific to internal medicine. Those who wish further training may undertake a fellowship in a subspecialty field such as cardiology or infectious diseases.
American College of Physicians –
American Society of Internal Medicine
(ACP-ASIM), 190 N. Independence Mall West
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1572
Society of General Internal Medicine
700 13th St., N.W., Suite 250
Washington, D.C. 20005