Internal Medicine Specialist Q&A
You and your family are invited to experience the excellent care provided at Beckley Internal Medicine. Dr. Nelson and her staff in Beckley, WV are fantastic at fulfilling your medical needs. For more information, please call us or request an appointment online.
What is internal medicine?
Internal medicine has been around since the late 1800s, when increasing scientific knowledge began to be more and more integrated into the practice of medicine. It is the medical specialty that deals with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of illness in adult patients relating to the internal organs such as the heart, kidneys, lungs and liver. Physicians who practice internal medicine are called internists and are especially equipped to handle the broad and comprehensive spectrum of illnesses that affect adults. They are recognized as experts in diagnosing, treating and managing a wide range of chronic medical conditions such as:
- Acute conditions like the flu, common cold, bronchitis, strep throat, pneumonia, etc.
- Arthritis and other rheumatologic conditions
- Blood disorders – anemia, hemophilia, etc.
- Cardiovascular diseases – coronary artery disease, heart attack etc
- Digestive disorders – inflammatory bowel disease IBD, ulcer, gastritis, Crohn’s disease etc.
- Immunologic disorders – allergies, asthma, etc.
- Infectious diseases – hepatitis, tuberculosis, HIV, etc.
- Kidney problems – kidney failure, chronic kidney disease, etc.
- Neurological conditions – migraines, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and seizures, etc.
- Pulmonary diseases – lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), etc.
- Thyroid conditions
- Endocrine system deficiencies
Internal medicine is practiced in a number of settings, and internists can choose to practice in primary care (although they should not be confused with family physicians), in hospitals, rehabilitation centers and long-term care facilities.
What procedures do internal medicine doctors do?
One of the areas of healthcare that internal medicine doctors are trained in is that of disease prevention and the promotion of health and well-being. These services include vaccinations, nutritional counseling, wellness checkups, and screenings for common health problems.
Internal medicine doctors are also able to perform pre-operative assessments for patients with pre-existing conditions that could complicate the surgery to ensure that it is safe for them to undergo the procedure.
An internist is trained to treat almost any condition, even more minor issues like a sinus infection or a broken wrist, and also administer or conduct the following:
- Diphtheria and tetanus
- Hepatitis A & B
- HPV (human papillomavirus)
- Whooping cough (pertussis)
Therapeutic Injections for Pain Management
- Cortisone shots
- Trigger point injections
Diagnostic Procedures and Health Screenings
- Blood pressure and cholesterol screening
- Colorectal Cancer Screening
- Hormone tests
- Screenings for gynecological cancers
Minor Office Procedures
- Removal of foreign bodies
- Abscess drainage
- Laceration repair
- Excision of skin lesions
- Simple fracture care
- Skin Biopsies
What is the difference between family practice and internal medicine?
It can be confusing to know the difference between family and internal medicine since there is quite a bit of overlap. Both serve as primary care physicians for most people however family medicine covers a broader patient base than internal medicine does. Family physicians are trained in internal medicine and manage the overall health and well-being of all ages, including children; they also provide gynecological care to their female patients.
Internal medicine physicians are more intensively trained on internal organs and processes, and they only see adults.
When should you see an internal medicine doctor?
Anyone with chronic or complicated medical conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and chronic lung disease will see an internal medicine doctor. However, as many internists practice in primary care, any condition or service that would normally take you to the doctor’s office (as listed above) can be handled by an internist. If you would like to know more about internal medicine and how it can help you, contact Beckley Internal Medicine today! We are located in Beckley WV and serve patients from the surrounding areas. Call or book an appointment online – we look forward to meeting you! We serve patients from Beckley WV, Stanaford WV, Lester WV, Baylor WV, Bradley WV, and Beaver WV.