An internist, or internal medicine physician, is a primary care doctor who primarily sees patients in an office-based setting, in addition to rounding on patients in the hospital. Internists are typically generalists who cover a broad scope of medicine to include total body wellness, disease prevention, and management of chronic conditions and illnesses. Internists typically treat adults, some adolescents, and elderly as well.
Diabetes, hypertension, and colds and flu are some of the issues internists may treat and help manage on a regular basis. Often internists may consult with specialists or refer the patient to see a more specialized physician if a serious or acute issue arises. Internists typically do not perform surgeries, although they may sometimes perform some minor office procedures such as mole removal, stress tests, or scopes. Typically internists perform physicals, manage illnesses through diet, medication, and other non-invasive methods.