Frequently Asked Questions

Reprinted for ease of reading/Link to actual Brochure provided


Internal Medicine

Doctors for AdultsTM

What is a Doctor of Internal Medicine (Internist) 

What is an expert of Internal Medicine (Internist)?


We are “Doctors of Internal Medicine.”Or “Internists.” We are different from other doctors because we specialize in adult health care. We do not deliver babies. We do not treat children. We do not do operations. We spend at least three years of our medical schooling learning about adults. We learn how to prevent, find and treat illness in adults. 


We care for the whole patient We are ready to care for any adult sickness. No matter how common or strange it is. Or how easy or hard it is.We are always learning more about:


  • The heart & blood vessels

  • Cancer

  • Diabetes

  • Digestion

  • LIver

  • Kidneys

  • Blood

  • Hormones

  • Infections

  • Rheumatism

  • Adolescence

  • Old age


We take care of people from their teen years through old age. 


For LIfe.  We care for our patients for life. Usually we see them in our offices or clinics. Sometimes in hospitals. Sometimes in nursing homes. We manage their care even when other doctors are involved. Often other doctors ask us for help with their own patients. That gives us the nickname,“The Doctor’s Doctor.” 


Clearing up some confusion.  We go by several names: “Doctor of Internal Medicine” “Internist” “General Internist”

We are not “Interns.” These are doctors who are trainees just out of medical school. We are not “Family Physicians.”

These doctors do not focus on adults. They also deliver babies and treat children. We are not “GPs.” They also deliver babies and treat children.


Sometimes we“subspecialize”  Some of us go back to school to focus on just one illness. Or on just one system of the body. Or just one age group.  Some internists may only treat problems of the heart or blood vessels. That makes them “Cardiologists.”

Others treat only digestive problems. That makes them “Gastroenterologists.” There are several other subspecialties of internal medicine:


Area                   Subspecialty

Cancer                “Oncology” 

Diabetes             “Endocrinology” 

Lungs                 “Chest Physician” or “Pulmonology” 

Rheumatism        “Rheumatology”

Allergies              “Allergy and Immunology”       

Liver                   “Hepatology” 

Kidneys               “Nephrology” 

Blood                  “Hematology”

Infections            “Infectious Diseases” 

Old Age               “Geriatrics”

Teenagers           “Adolescent Medicine”



A public education publication from the American College of Physicians – American Society of Internal Medicine

(ACP–ASIM)* representing

115,000 doctors of internal medicine and medical students.

190 N. Independence Mall West Philadelphia, PA 19106-1572 Telephone toll-free 877 888 2525



*With support from the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation. 701100800 

Internal Medicine PC, Dr. Jean Lorentzen, West Des Moines IA