What is Internal Medicine?
My dream job when I was six was to be a fireman. I know I liked the idea of spraying that cool hose and wearing the uniform. But my admiration was truly for the role of ‘helper’ that the fireman represented. My Dad was a surgeon and I didn’t really see him in that role until a few years later, when a gentleman stopped us on the street in front of Church, to thank Dad for helping his wife. Daddy helps people? Wow. Daddy is like a fireman.
When I was deciding on a medical specialty, I did rotations in cardiology at Georgetown and Cedar Sinai, feeling pressure from outsiders about what I should choose. But I was continually drawn back to the specialty of Internal Medicine. Maybe because Dad and his friends always had so much respect for their Internal Medicine friend, the guy they called the “doctor’s doctor.”
The term “Internal Medicine” comes from the German term “Innere Medizin,” a discipline popularized in Germany in the late 1800s to describe physicians who combined the science of the laboratory with the care of patients. Many early 20th century American doctors studied medicine in Germany and brought this medical field to the United States.
Internists are specially equipped to deal with whatever problem a patient presents and to know when to go for another specialist’s opinion. We are trained to handle situations where several different illnesses may strike at the same time, and the knowledge of many specialties is necessary to find a diagnosis. We have had special study and training learning how to prevent, diagnose, manage and treat diseases that affect adults.
You used to have the same doctor all of your adult life. Your internist kept track of all the elements of your medical history, coordinating with specialists and taking care of you in the hospital when you are most vulnerable. The challenge today is to deliver that same old-fashioned care. Internal medicine is the discipline that most allows the doctor to know the whole person.
As a Board Certified Doctor of Internal Medicine, I have found that focusing on a wellness model in my practice has also given me the ability to share with you a passionate commitment to a common purpose - your health and well being.
I therefore cover my practice 24 hours a day, seven days a week and am always available to my patients on my cell phone. I see tremendous benefits in the continuity model that my practice provides – just as my father’s generation practiced medicine.
When you are in the hospital, I use all the resources available to us to make sure that a hospitalization goes as smoothly as possible. I know my patient’s history, I know exactly who and when to consult in the hospital when needed. When I was training, Internal Medicine, as a specialty, was trained to take care of patients in the office and in the hospital, to provide the continuity necessary to make transitioning to and from different levels of care successful and safe.
I also try to use the power of today’s information technologies to maximize my interactions with my patients. Electronic medical records, digital prescribing, online communication, even FaceTime visits, are particularly useful in giving patients the access to me that they want.
I love my job. I may not be a fireman, but I am helping people. But most of all, I love the interesting and unique people who come to me every day to tell me about their lives and let me help them live healthier. If you are interested in joining my practice, I would be happy to meet with you.