General Internist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Diagnoses and provides non-surgical treatment of diseases and injuries of internal organ systems. Provides care mainly for adults who have a wide range of problems associated with the internal organs.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Treats internal disorders, such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and problems of the lung, brain, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Prescribes or administers medication, therapy, and other specialized medical care to treat or prevent illness, disease, or injury.
  • Explains procedures and discusses test results or prescribed treatments with patients.
  • Manages and treats common health problems, such as infections, influenza and pneumonia, as well as serious, chronic, and complex illnesses, in adolescents, adults, and the elderly.
  • Analyzes records, reports, test results, or examination information to diagnose medical condition of patient.
  • Provides and manages long-term, comprehensive medical care, including diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of diseases, for adult patients in an office or hospital.
  • Collects, records, and maintains patient information, such as medical history, reports, and examination results.
  • Makes diagnoses when different illnesses occur together or in situations where the diagnosis may be obscure.
  • Monitors patients' conditions and progress and reevaluates treatments as necessary.
  • Advises patients and community members concerning diet, activity, hygiene, and disease prevention.

Multimedia

Watch a one-minute video showing what it's like to work in this career or related careers


Health Science

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overtime work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Emergency Medicine Physician -- Provides immediate diagnosis and recognition, care and stabilization of a large range of both adult and pediatric patients subjected to acute injuries and illnesses.
  • Endocrinologist -- Diagnoses and treats diseases and disorders involving glands or internal secretions.
  • Pulmonary Physician -- Trained in internal medicine, lungs, and the cardio-pulmonary system which is the lungs, heart, blood vessels, and all the organs that help a person breathe.