Internal medicine as your specialty

Internal medicine is a speciality that includes endocrinology, gastroenterology, haematology, infectious diseases, cardiology, nephrology and rheumatology. It is therefore a very broad speciality in terms of knowledge.

The scope and potential of the internal medicine physician's work is broad. Many of the specialists in internal medicine listed above first complete a specialist training in internal medicine. As the population ages, the number of patients in internal medicine will increase.

Traditionally, internists work in hospitals. There is also a demand for the versatile skills of internists in primary care units such as health centres. In the changing healthcare landscape, training in internal medicine allows for adaptability, as the skills are in the hands and head and the profession is not tied to equipment and structures.

The best thing about internal medicine, according to many colleagues, is the diversity of the field and the different manifestations of the diseases. Good basic knowledge, logical reasoning and the ability to apply what they have learnt are what drive the internist forward when dealing with complex patient cases. Accepting the limitations of one's own knowledge is something that is important to internalise. Living with this limitation is an effort to constantly improve oneself, which prevents one from becoming stagnant over the years. While treatments for diseases are evolving, traditional medical skills remain a core part of the internal medicine physician's skill set. On the one hand, it is rewarding to master diagnostics with little or no machine and laboratory testing and, on the other, to be able to make targeted use of the latest, often expensive, tests.

Internal medicine is an ideal field for a doctor who is not afraid of challenges, who is interested in continuous self-improvement and, above all, who is genuinely interested in the patient.