There is no denying the truth that internal medicine is a competitive medical specialty for medical students that mainly focuses on diseases and disorders of internal processes and internal organs. Physicians who specialize in internal medicine are called internists who work with other doctors to diagnose a disease and come up with the best possible treatment advice.
Internists are trained to diagnose and treat infectious diseases, cancer, disorders related to the heart, kidney, digestive system, joints, respiratory system and vascular system. Medical students who want to enroll in an internal medicine residency program will find great career opportunities in different fields.
Internal medicine is packed with a number of subspecialties; medical students have a myriad of choices to gain additional training in the internal medicine subspecialty. By completing the internal medicine fellowship training, you will become board-certified and able to practice in the state.
If you want to pursue a career in internal medicine, here is a list of internal medicine subspecialties you can choose for fellowship training and become a board-certified doctor.
Pulmonary Disease Medicine
Pulmonary disease medicine is a subspecialty of internal medicine that focuses on respiratory disorders, such as emphysema, bronchitis, pulmonary hypertension. Obtaining fellowship training in pulmonary disease medicine will help you to become a pulmonologist. In order to become a pulmonologist, medical students need to complete 2 years of fellowship training in pulmonary disease.
Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Physicians who specialize in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism are referred to as endocrinologists. As an endocrinologist, you are responsible for treating diseases related to hormonal imbalance and impaired metabolism. Endocrinologists usually treat people with diabetes, metabolic disorders, thyroid gland disorders, and disorders caused due to hormone imbalance. Medical students interested in this internal medicine subspecialties are required to complete 2 years of fellowship training in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism.
Cardiologists are qualified doctors who can treat patients with heart and blood vessels disorders. Cardiology is one of the most popular internal medicine subspecialties that deal with cardiovascular diseases. Cardiologists are trained to manage coronary artery diseases, heart failure, heart rhythm abnormalities. To become a board-certified cardiologist, medical students are required to complete 3 years of fellowship training in cardiovascular disease.
Gastroenterologists, also called GIs are doctors of the digestive system and treat digestive disorders such as ulcer, celiac disease, hepatitis and more. GI doctors also treat patients with abdominal pain, chronic heartburn, indigestion, stomach pain, diarrhea, IBS, constipation or other related disorders. You need to complete 3 years of additional training in gastroenterology to become a gastroenterologist.
Physicians who specialize in transplant hepatology are hepatologists. They are responsible for diagnosing and treating chronic liver disorders that result in transplant surgery. Hepatologists can provide pre-operative and post-operative care and efficiently manage transplant related complications. Transplant hepatology internal medicine subspecialty requires 3 years of fellowship training in gastroenterology and 1-year fellowship training in hepatology.
Hematology is an internal medicine subspeciality that deals with blood disorders such as leukemia, anemia and hemophilia. Hematologists are responsible for examining specimens, analyzing lab reports to diagnose and treat different blood related conditions. Students are required to complete 2 years of additional training in hematology.
Oncologists are doctors who deal with tumors and cancer. They are responsible for providing chemotherapies, closely working with surgeons and other specialists to treat cancer. Internal medicine medical oncology subspecialty requires 2 years of fellowship training.
If you are interested in treating kidney disorders, then you should go for nephrology. This internal medicine subspeciality deals with complex kidney disorders that require advanced treatment options such as dialysis or transplant. In order to become a nephrologist, you need to get 2 years of fellowship training in nephrology. work with patients
Rheumatologists are physicians who treat autoimmune disorders and diseases related to joints, muscles and related tissues. Keep in mind that rheumatologists can only treat pain and swelling associated with joints and pain, they can’t treat joint or muscle injuries caused by sports or heavy exercises. An additional 2-years of fellowship training in rheumatology is needed to become a rheumatologist.
Allergists/Immunologists are physicians who specialize in an allergy and immunology internal medicine subspecialty. These physicians are responsible for diagnosing, treating and dealing with medical disorders such as asthma, immune disorders and allergies from food, insects and the environment. Allergists and immunologists complete 2 years of fellowship training to become a board-certified physician.
Infectious disease doctors can diagnose and treat chronic and severe infections caused by microorganisms. They perform different tests to identify the cause of an infection and provide an effective treatment option. It requires you to obtain 2-years of fellowship training in infectious diseases internal medicine subspecialty to enter this field.
Internists can treat patients of all ages, but geriatricians are doctors who only focus on elderly people. They are well-equipped with the process of aging and can deal with the medical complexities of aging patients. They can treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other elderly problems and help them maintain quality of life. They work in nursing homes and help caregivers to fulfill the needs of elderly patients. If you want to become a geriatrician, you are required to obtain 1-year of fellowship training in geriatric medicine after completing a medical residency program in internal medicine.
Internal medicine is a very broad medical specialty. There are a number of other internal medicine subspecialties, but the above cited ones are the most well-known subspecialties. Before making a decision, carefully find your interests and career goals and then choose your ideal internal medicine subspeciality. Pursuing a rewarding career in medicine requires you to complete a Doctor of Medicine (MD) program from a top medical school. So, get into a medical school to find a career opportunity in a specialized field of medicine.