There are many branches of internal medicine. Below are several common terms used to describe the different practices:
Cardiology: The study of the human heart and its veins. Cardiologists specialize in heart diseases and can recommend necessary procedures. Most people go to see a cardiologist after they have had a heart attack to learn how to take care of their heart through proper exercise and diet. They may also perform stress tests to see how strong the heart is.
Endocrinology: The study of the human endocrine system, which includes glands like the thyroid and liver. Endocrinologists study the diseases that arise from hormonal imbalances as a result of these gland secretions. The stomach is part of the endocrine system since it secretes digestive acids, but the intestines are not.
Neurology: The study of the human mind. The brain controls all bodily functions, and when problems happen here, the entire body will suffer. Neurologists study brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and brain tumors.
Pulmonology: The study of the pulmonary system, which includes the lungs. Pulmonary diseases affect how the body breathes, and are quite serious since the lack of functioning lungs leads to low oxygen. Common pulmonary diseases seen by doctors include emphysema and mesothelioma.
Oncology: The study of cancer and the tumors it produces. Surgical oncologists are specialized in perform surgery to remove tumors when it is feasible to do so. General oncologists set up treatment plans for cancer, including chemotherapy.
Gastroenterology: The study of the intestinal system. Intestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease may mean that the patient needs to see a gastroenterologist to perform the necessary tests and treatments. This branch of medicine encompasses both the small and the large intestine.
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Internal medicine concentrates on diagnosing and nonsurgical treatment with uncommon serious illness. An internist is a doctor that will specialize in this type of medical practice. The internists will not only be specialized in internal medicine, they will usually limit their medical practice to one certain area. Pediatrics, geriatrics, and gastroenterology are a few examples where a specialist will practice in. Some doctors may not be able to give a diagnosis to a patient; this is where they would be referred to an internal medicine physician. If you want to find an internist in your area you may have a recommendation from your general medicine doctor or you could look online or in a phone book. An initial consultation will need to take place to ensure you receive the proper medical care. At this point, health care will be discussed to determine how you will pay for any treatment. At first you will most likely go to a general practice or clinic to see a medical doctor. However, if they are unable to find a diagnosis and give you the right medication, they will then give you to a specialist in the area you need. Clinics will have various programs and some will have urgent care departments, but in order to start you on the right program there needs to be a correct diagnosis. To find different physicians, ask friends and family if they know of any with a good reputation. They should listen to you and understand what you're trying to tell them so they can understand the facts in order to give you a fair diagnosis.