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Internal Medicine: 6 Sub-Specialties Everyone Should Know

Internal medicine is a term that’s often thrown around, but few know what it really means, what the field covers, and who’s involved in it. However, understanding the basics of it can totally change your life if you’re impacted by certain conditions. On this page, we’ll break down what internal medicine is and explore a few of its sub-specialties.

What is Internal Medicine?

To put it simply, internal medicine refers to the study, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases which impact adults on the inside. To become an internal medicine specialist, also called an internist, a physician must undergo a minimum of 1-3 years of additional schooling. Some internists become general internists or generalists. This means they look at all they body’s internal systems. Others focus on one particular area of the body. We’ll break down a few of these sub-specialties in just a moment.

Suffice it to say, internists are the experts. They’re the ones doctors call when they’re stumped, a patient isn’t responding to treatment, or someone has a case that’s too advanced for them to handle. So, if you’re really sick or are having trouble getting a diagnosis, you’ll want to seek out the help of an internal medicine specialist too.

6 Sub-Specialties of Internal Medicine

There are numerous sub-specialties and various medical organizations and authorities will break down the subspecialties a bit differently. That said, the six listed below are fairly universal.

1. Rheumatology

Rheumatology is devoted to the musculoskeletal system and joints. A rheumatologist may treat conditions like:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gout and Other Crystalline Diseases
  • Inflammatory Muscle Diseases
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Polychondritis
  • Spondyloarthropathies (joint diseases of the vertebral column)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sjögren Disease
  • Sports/ Musculoskeletal Injuries
  • Systemic Sclerosis
  • Vasculitis

2. Geriatrics

Geriatrics is a field dedicated to the treatment of conditions which impact people of advanced age. A geriatrician will treat conditions like:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cancers (especially those which become more prevalent with age)
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart Disease
  • Incontinence
  • Medication Side-Effects
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Stroke

3. Pulmonary Medicine

Pulmonary medicine covers everything related to breathing; lungs, upper airways, the chest cavity, and chest wall. Pulmonologists will treat things like:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD)
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Emphysema
  • Interstitial Lung Diseases
  • Lung Cancer
  • Occupational Lung Diseases
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Tuberculosis

4. Travel Medicine

Travel medicine is a bit different. Doctors who work in this area have extensive knowledge of the globe and what types of diseases and conditions are prevalent in each area. They help people prepare for their trips by providing immunizations as needed and advice for avoiding issues. They also ensure people can manage their health while abroad, including providing prescriptions, explaining country-specific guidelines, and possibly even identifying places where treatment can safely be sought after an individual reaches his or her destination. Dr. Santiago A. Candocia is our travel medicine specialist.

5. Cardiovascular Medicine

Cardiovascular medicine or cardiology is the treatment of things related to the heart and cardiovascular system.

  • Cardiomyopathies
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Disorders of Arteries and Veins
  • Dysrhythmias
  • Endocarditis
  • Ischemic Heart Disease
  • Pericardial Diseases
  • Valvular Heart Disease

6. Diabetes

Generally speaking, diabetes specialists cover all areas related to the endocrine system as well as associated metabolic dysfunction. Referred to as endocrinologists, these doctors treat conditions like:

  • Adrenal Cortex Dysfunction
  • Bone Metabolism
  • Diabetes
  • Gonadal Disease
  • Hypothalamic Disorders
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Pituitary Diseases
  • Thyroid Diseases and Parathyroid Abnormalities

Dedication Health Offers Internal Medicine Care Across All 6 Sub-Specialties

Whether you’re trying to manage a chronic condition now or simply want to know that expert care is close by should you ever need it, Dedication Health is the place to be. We’re a concierge medical practice that offers patient-focused care, meaning we’re here to support you no matter what your concerns are and have the expertise as well as tools on hand to provide you with the highest levels of care. Not only that, but we include concierge-style perks, so your physician is always just a phone call away, your care is managed effortlessly, you have as much time with your physician as you need, AND you can enjoy the finer things in life, like valet parking, no waits, and well-appointed patient suites. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Oh, and we accept insurance and are affordable for most business professionals too.

If you’d like to learn more, complete our online form and well get back to you as soon as possible or you may speak directly to our practice manager Christine by calling 847-986-6770.