Internal medicine doctors, also referred to as internists, are primary care physicians who treat diseases in adults. They are qualified to treat a wide range of conditions affecting the organs, such as the kidneys, liver, heart, and lungs. Internists can provide both inpatient and outpatient care. Some internists see patients in rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, and other medical settings while some other internists referred to as "hospitalists" operate in hospitals, where they may monitor and evaluate patients' conditions.
Internal medicine includes preventive care, such as blood pressure and cholesterol screenings. Internists may treat a patient over a duration of years, which can be beneficial for patients with chronic conditions or recurring disorders. After diagnosing a condition, internists assess if they may treat the patient themselves, or if the condition warrants a referral to a specialist. With additional training, it is also possible for internists to specialize in a more focused area of internal medicine. Internists do not typically perform surgery. Internists can collaborate with many other specialist physicians, including oncologists, neurologists, and cardiologists.