American Board of Internal Medicine
510 Walnut Street, Suite 1700
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 446-3500 or toll-free: (800) 441-2246https://www.abim.org
Internists provide long-term and comprehensive care
An internist is a personal physician who provides long-term, comprehensive care in the office and in the hospital, managing both common and complex illnesses of adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Internists are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, infections, and diseases affecting the heart, blood, kidneys, joints, and the digestive, respiratory, and vascular systems. They are also trained in the essentials of primary care internal medicine, which incorporates an understanding of disease prevention, wellness, substance abuse, mental health, and effective treatment of common problems of the eyes, ears, skin, nervous system, and reproductive organs.
Training required prior to certification: Three years
Certification in one of the following subspecialties requires additional training and assessment as specified by the board.
An internist who specializes in Adolescent Medicine is a multidisciplinary health care specialist trained in the unique physical, psychological, and social characteristics of adolescents, their health care problems and needs.
Adult Congenital Heart Disease
An internist or pediatrician who specializes in Adult Congenital Heart Disease has the unique knowledge, skills, and practice required of a cardiologist for evaluating and delivering high quality lifelong care for a wide range of adult patients with heart disease diagnosed at birth.
Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology
An internist who specializes in Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology has the special knowledge and skills required of cardiologists for evaluating and optimally managing patients with heart failure, particularly those with advanced heart failure, those with devices, including ventricular assist devices, and those who have undergone or are awaiting transplantation.
An internist who specializes in diseases of the heart and blood vessels and manages complex cardiac conditions, such as heart attacks and life-threatening, abnormal heartbeat rhythms.
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
A field of special interest within the subspecialty of Cardiovascular Disease, which involves intricate technical procedures to evaluate heart rhythms and determine appropriate treatment.
Critical Care Medicine
An internist trained in Critical Care Medicine has expertise in the diagnosis, treatment, and support of critically ill and injured patients, particularly trauma victims and patients with multiple organ dysfunction. This physician also coordinates patient care among the primary physician, critical care staff, and other specialists.
Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
An internist (endocrinologist) specializes in the diagnosis and management of disorders of hormones and their actions, metabolic disorders, and neoplasia of the endocrine glands. This specialist cares for patients with diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, disorders of calcium and bone, hyperlipidemia, obesity and nutritional disorders, pituitary disorders, reproductive and gonadal disorders, adrenal diseases, and endocrine hypertension.
An internist (gastroenterologist) who specializes in diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive organs including the stomach, bowels, liver, and gallbladder. This specialist treats conditions such as abdominal pain, ulcers, diarrhea, cancer, and jaundice and performs complex diagnostic and therapeutic procedures using endoscopes to visualize internal organs.
An internist who has special knowledge of the aging process and special skills in the diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive, and rehabilitative aspects of illness in the elderly. This specialist cares for geriatric patients in the patient’s home, the office, and long-term care settings such as nursing homes and the hospital.
An internist (hematologist) who specializes in diseases of the blood, spleen, and lymph. This specialist treats conditions such as anemia, clotting disorders, sickle cell disease, hemophilia, leukemia, and lymphoma.
Hospice and Palliative Medicine
An internist who specializes in Hospice and Palliative Medicine provides care to prevent and relieve the suffering experienced by patients with life-limiting illnesses. This specialist works with an interdisciplinary hospice or palliative care team to optimize quality of life while addressing the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of both patient and family.
An internist who deals with infectious diseases of all types and in all organ systems. Conditions requiring selective use of antibiotics call for this special skill. This physician often diagnoses and treats AIDS patients and patients with fevers which have not been explained. Infectious disease specialists may also have expertise in preventive medicine and travel medicine.
An area of medicine within the subspecialty of Cardiology, which uses specialized imaging and other diagnostic techniques to evaluate blood flow and pressure in the coronary arteries and chambers of the heart, and uses technical procedures and medications to treat abnormalities that impair the function of the cardiovascular system.
An internist (medical oncologist) who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer and other benign and malignant tumors. This specialist decides on and administers therapy for these malignancies, as well as consults with surgeons and radiotherapists on other treatments for cancer.
An internist (nephrologist) who treats disorders of the kidney, high blood pressure, fluid and mineral balance, and dialysis of body wastes when the kidneys do not function. This specialist consults with surgeons about kidney transplantation.
An internist (pulmonologist) who treats diseases of the lungs and airways. This specialist diagnoses and treats cancer, pneumonia, pleurisy, asthma, occupational and environmental diseases, bronchitis, sleep disorders, emphysema, and other complex disorders of the lungs.
An internist (rheumatologist) who treats diseases of joints, muscle, bones, and tendons. This specialist diagnoses and treats arthritis, back pain, muscle strains, common athletic injuries, and collagen diseases.
An internist who specializes in the diagnosis and management of clinical conditions that occur during sleep, that disturb sleep, or that are affected by disturbances in the wake-sleep cycle. This specialist is skilled in the analysis and interpretation of comprehensive polysomnography, and well-versed in emerging research and management of a sleep laboratory.
An internist who specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating injuries related to participating in sports and/or exercise. In addition to the study of those fields that focus on prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of injuries, Sports Medicine also deals with illnesses and diseases that might have effects on health and physical performance.
An internist with special knowledge and the skill required of a gastroenterologist to care for patients prior to and following hepatic transplantation that spans all phases of liver transplantation. Selection of appropriate recipients requires assessment by a team having experience in evaluating the severity and prognosis of patients with liver disease.