Why and What is an Internist?

Why an Internal Medicine Provider, like Dr. AL-Hafidh, could be better for your care…

You maybe asking what is the difference between an Internal Medicine doctor or “Internist” like Dr. AL-Hafidh and other primary care providers? The short answer is that Dr. AL-Hafidh has received additional specialized training that required him to be board certified in treating adults with complex medical issues such as diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and other adult-only medical issues. The additional training and 20 plus years of experience that Dr. AL-Hafidh has in treating adults could be of benefit to managing your complex health issues that may not be optimally controlled with your current primary care provider.

What is an Internist?

The long answer is that Doctors of Internal Medicine are doctors for adults. Internists focus on adult medicine. You may see us referred to by several terms, including “internists,” “general internists” and “doctors of internal medicine.” But don’t mistake us with “interns,” that is a term referred to doctors in their first year of residency training! We act as primary care physicians that solely concentrate on adult care, we do not do general surgery, obstetrics or pediatrics. We are distinguished from “family physicians,” “family practitioners,” or “general practitioners,” based on our focus on adult medicine. Think of an internist as the adult equivalent to a Pediatrician.

We are equipped to deal with a multitude of medical problems — from the common cold to a myriad of complex and rare illnesses no matter how simple or complex. We are specially trained to solve puzzling complex diagnostic problems, and can handle chronic illnesses and situations where several different illnesses may strike at the same time.

We are focused on providing our patient’s an understanding of wellness, both disease prevention and the promotion of health are important to us.

Because we are involved with many aspects of medicine we, as an Internist, are acutely aware of the ways that different parts and systems of the body interact. With this broad clinical knowledge we try to encourage patients to become personally involved with and responsible for their own good health practices, while we deliver cost effective patient-centered medical care with compassion and concern.

 In case you were wondering… 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. Thus, the name “internal medicine” was adopted. Like many words adopted from other languages, it unfortunately doesn’t exactly fit an American meaning.


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