Internal medicine is a medical specialty which focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of nonsurgical conditions in adults. This specialty has a number of subspecialties ranging from nephrology, the study of the kidneys, to immunology, the study of allergies and immune system disorders. A doctor who is certified in this specialty is known as an internist; many adults around the world use internists as their primary care physicians. Internists should not be confused with interns, first-year doctors undergoing supervised post-graduate training.
This medical specialty is incredibly varied, because it focuses on the whole body of the patient. Although the name suggests internal organs, internists also treat external conditions. Internists are often used to solve medical puzzles, since they are familiar with a wide range of medical conditions and their causes. Specialists in internal medicine treat people with all sorts of conditions, from hepatitis to cancer, and careers in internal medicine are incredibly varied. Many hospitals keep a staff of internal medicine specialists to care for their patients, and internists also work out of their own clinics and offices.