In internal medicine we care for the whole patient. At least three of the seven or more years of medical school and postgraduate training are dedicated to learning how to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases that affect adults.
Internists are equipped to deal with whatever problem a patient brings -- no matter how common or rare, or how simple or complex. They are specially trained to solve puzzling diagnostic problems and can handle severe chronic illnesses and situations where several different illnesses may strike at the same time. They also bring to patients an understanding of wellness (disease prevention and the promotion of health), women's health, substance abuse, mental health, as well as effective treatment of common problems of the eyes, ears, skin, nervous system and reproductive organs.
Internists are qualified by training and/or experience to provide primary or sub specialty care services, for patients beginning with the onset of puberty, roughly age 12, all the way up to the geriatric patient.
We manage their care even when other doctors are involved. We often consult with other specialists, helping them take care of their patients internal medicine needs. This gives us the nickname, "the doctor's doctors."