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What Makes Internal Medicine Unique

Internal medicine physicians see things differently. Holistically. And in a unique way that allows them to analyze, lead, and humanize health care in a variety of different settings and roles.

I.M. the cornerstone of comprehensive health care

Discover the unique leadership roles, career pathways and impact of internal medicine physicians.

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Internal medicine physicians receive broad and deep training that give them a unique perspective of how everything works in unison. All internal medicine physicians share a core of special training that forms the foundation for whichever discipline within internal medicine they choose to pursue. They are specially trained to solve diagnostic problems, manage severe long-term illnesses, and help patients with multiple, complex chronic conditions.

Internal medicine physicians are critical thinkers who excel in the most challenging and dynamic environments. Because of their in-depth knowledge of connections inside and outside of the adult human body, internal medicine physicians can effectively piece together multiple data sets (lifestyle, symptoms, existing conditions, medications, etc.) in clinical and non-clinical settings, make sense of the health care landscape, interpret information from their colleagues, and identify patient outcomes to deliver the best care.

The lens of internal medicine also naturally lends itself to leadership within team-based care. Often, other medical professionals call upon internal medicine physicians for their ability to connect the dots, help solve problems, and identify solutions.

Versatility is a hallmark of internal medicine. Internal medicine is a launchpad to an array of career opportunities in multitude of settings and disciplines, and a gateway to health care leadership and impact. Internal medicine physicians are successful executives and leaders in health care and influence decision-makers in the health care system.​ You’ll find internal medicine physicians as hospitalists and adult patient physicians, subspecialists, CEOs, educators, policy makers, leaders in national and local government, and beyond. Internal medicine training instills a sense of leadership and collaboration at its core which can be leveraged in any profession throughout one’s career.

Internal Medicine provides a platform to create meaningful change in a variety of different settings. Extensive knowledge of the adult human body and the health care system, combined with analytical and leadership expertise, positions internal medicine physicians to be trusted voices in health care.

For patients, this means having a reliable, knowledgeable, and thorough health care advocate to provide guidance through their adult lives. Internal medicine physicians have a patient-centric approach that helps patients cut through the complexities of the health care system to ensure that they receive high-quality care. At the community level, they can help connect patients with resources, information, and services. At an organizational level, this can mean refining processes to improve the efficiency and quality of the patient experience.     

Just as internal medicine physicians can be advocates for their patients or organizations, they can also be advocates for meaningful change in health care policy. By sharing their knowledge and leveraging their leadership and collaboration skills, internal medicine physicians can advance initiatives that improve public health across the country, or even across the globe.

The future of health care lies in internal medicine. As the health care landscape continues to change, the broad lens and comprehensive vantage point of the internal medicine physician is a critical component to help improve access, reduce cost, improve quality, and end disparities in care. Internal medicine physicians’ ability to make connections and see the big picture impacts a patient’s life. As health care evolves, internal medicine physicians are leading solution design, beyond the walls of health care. Internal medicine’s versatility as a specialty in health care opens a wide range of impactful roles and opportunity. When internal medicine physicians aren’t leading the health care team, changing patients' lives in clinical and non-clinical settings, they are influencing policy changes, educating the future of medicine, or connecting a health team to solve complex issues.

Learn more about internal medicine and opportunities for leadership, impact, and a multitude of career paths.