Internal medicine or primary internal medicine is a medical specialty dealing exclusively with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of internal illnesses. Physicians practicing in internal medicine are usually known as internal practitioners, or internal medicine specialists in Commonwealth countries. Their specialization involves the field of general internal medicine, which includes all the branches of medicine dealing with internal organs, systems, and diseases of the body. A doctor who practices in this specialty has the Doctor of Medicine or Physician of Medicine degree, an Associate of Arts degree in General Medical Practice, or a Bachelor of Science in Medicine (BSM). These degrees require at least a bachelor’s degree, but not a medical license in order to practice.
Some of the common internal medicine specialties are clinical neuropsychologists, obstetricians and gynecologists, cardiologists, neurologists, gastroenterologists, psychiatrists, pulmonologists, and practitioners of naturopathy. Though these doctors specialize in specific fields of medicine, most of them are trained for general medicine and are familiar with many different diseases and their treatments. In fact, many of them have worked extensively on their specialization through undergraduate programs in public or medical schools, while others received training and degrees at medical universities. Some of them even obtained certifications in various fields to become recognized as primary medicine specialist or senior physician.
Primary medicine doctors need a minimum of a master’s degree in order to specialize in a specific field, whereas specialist doctors can specialize in a number of specific fields. This allows them to treat a variety of patients with a variety of diseases. Some doctors even specialize in pediatrics, while others focus on a particular disease such as cardiovascular medicine, pediatrics, neurological surgery, gastroenterology, and infectious diseases. However, one should not confuse these doctors with pediatricians or nurses, who deal with children or infants, and primary care physicians, who deal with a variety of conditions such as urinary tract infections and cataracts.