Why Internal Medicine is the best specialty – that’s what I’ll be convincing you of today!
I’m starting my internal medicine residency as of this writing. Thus, in this post, I’ve included the top six things that I really love about the field.
If you’re considering to potentially pursuing the field as well, this is for you! Hopefully, it helps you make your decision if you’re on the edge and help you understand why Internal Medicine is the best
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Six Reasons Why Internal Medicine Is The Best:
As a student, I looked at almost every field as a possibility, maybe not surgery, but everything else!
I considered family medicine, radiology, interventional medicine, radiation oncology, emergency medicine as well as several others.
Ultimately, I decided on internal medicine for these six reasons that I’m about to share with you.
Reason #1: Helping A Web Of Influence
The number one reason why I picked internal medicine is that it really reflected my “why”. My why is what I’d like to call a “web influence”.
When I was younger, most of my family members have some kind of ailment, either chronic or acute. I really got to see, with my medical experience, from the perspective of a patient.
What I realized was that you could not only impact the lives of patients but also of their loved ones. As soon as patients go home, they can play whatever role they have in the lives of their loved ones.
A mother can go back, be a wife, and be a mother to her children. She can also go back to work or be involved in her church as a community member, and a lot of different things!
Being in internal medicine, you often deal with the families. So, you may be dealing with a very important member such as a spouse, a parent, or grandparents.
If you can help that person in the room, you tend to also help the person that’s caring for them and the people you’d never get to meet.
Thus, you’ll get the most opportunity to help one individual who could then have their presence help so many more.
Reason #2: Focus On Preventative Medicine
The second thing that really attracted me towards internal medicine is the idea of being able to practice preventative medicine.
A lot of the healthcare burdens or diseases that we have are due to some of the lifestyle choices and behavioral choices that we make today.
It’s important to help your patients understand not just why they’d eat healthy, but also what’s going on in their bodies that they choose to eat unhealthy.
You can teach a diabetic that he has diabetes and how to properly manage it. Otherwise, there will be scary complications, then you give the reasons why.
If you can help your patients connect these dots, and actually follow through with it, you’re essentially saving their life.
If they hadn’t got that advice from you or another physician, then they probably were on the path to some dangerous diseases such as heart disease or cancer.
We’re saving lives before they’re even at risk and that’s why you should pick internal medicine!
A lot of other specialties can say this, but the kind of preventative medicine I want to deal with happened to be in internal medicine and why Internal Medicine is the best field for me.
Reason #3: Complexity Of Internal Medicine
The third thing I really love about internal medicine is the idea of the complexity. A lot of the patients will have chronic diseases that battle each other.
You may want to treat somebody with liver disease, but you can’t because they also have kidney disease. You just can’t treat them with the same medication!
A lot of those conflicts happen and those add a little bit of wrinkle. It puts you on your heels.
If this is a career that you’re going to do for a long time, you want it to be interesting when you come to work. You don’t want to have a desk job and do the same thing over and over again.
Internal medicine is going to have a lot of complexity because of the patient population.
We’ll see the diabetics and people with heart disease or liver disease. Others who continue to smoke may also have COPD. There’s a lot that goes in there!
That complexity, while frustrating at times especially for the patient, is an attractive part of the deal. You get to care for many patients and help them feel a lot better.
Reason #4: Many Doors of Opportunity
Another reason why you should pick internal medicine is that it has a lot of doors for opportunities and options in general.
I’m about to go into my residency, but even after my residency, I can choose to go to a lot of different ways.
I can finish my residency and become a hospitalist or an internist. I can also work in an outpatient setting.
If I want, I can do more training and choose to become a cardiologist, oncologist, pulmonologist, ICU doctor, and many other options.
Even after that, you can become a cardiologist and then focus on heart failure. You can also become a cardiologist and focus on electrophysiology.
Those doors of opportunity based off of your interests, the kind of patients you want to see, or the lifestyle you want are there.
That flexibility is definitely more so in internal medicine than any other fields!
Reason #5: Shorter Training
Even with all these doors of opportunity, your training is still relatively short.
Think about somebody going into neurosurgery who’d span anywhere from seven or eight years in residency alone.
On the other hand, somebody in internal medicine can go into a three-year program. Then, he can choose to do a three-year fellowship and can still be done before the neuro resident colleague.
Obviously, I want my brain surgeon to be really well-trained, so respect to those who do it. But it doesn’t have a very friendly training timeline.
Six years may seem like a lot to many of you, but once you get through this process it seems like nothing.
The idea that I can go to a lot of different routes is definitely attractive. It’s either I’m done in three years, six years, or eight years.
You can essentially paint the career in the future you want! I loved this about IM and it may be why Internal Medicine is the best for your situation and family.
Reason #6: Amazing Flexibility In Internal Medicine
The final reason why you should pick internal medicine is its flexibility.
I can choose to shift careers. I can work in a hospital setting, go into an outpatient setting, or go back into academics.
You have this for other specialties too, but there are so many jobs in internal medicine. You’re always going to need a doctor who can take care of an adult in a hospital or a clinic setting.
There’s always going to be jobs available for internal medicine doctors, so you have that flexibility in terms of location.
I don’t have to tell my significant other “Sorry, we can’t go live in here because I can’t find a job.”.
More likely than not, I will be able to find a job in the location we want. We can also have a salary that’s ideal that can live to our lifestyles.
That flexibility and the ability to still work with patients, career, and location I love, make it perfect!
You want to be in a field that’s happy where you don’t have to strain yourself out of bed to go to work. You want to be able to hop out and enjoy your work each and every day.
FYI. Here is a list of the best books for Internal Medicine.
Those are the six reasons why Internal Medicine is the best field for me. It may not be the field for you, but just understand that there’s plenty of options here.
You can be a hands-on doctor who does a lot of procedures. If you want to be hands-off because you don’t want to do those procedures, internal medicine has that too.
There’s a lot of flexibility. Patients are amazing. There’s a lot of lifelong learning that you’ll be able to do.
Hopefully, all these could help you decide if the field is for you.
Finally, if you want more help in med school, check out the following resources!
Thanks for reading!
Until next time my friend…