Internal medicine physicians, sometimes called “internists,” specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of adult diseases.

Internists who enter into practice following completion of their basic internal medicine training are called general internists or general internal medicine physicians. General internists may practice in a variety of settings including primary care and hospital medicine.

Some internists subspecialize in a more focused area of internal medicine. In order to subspecialize, they must undergo additional training (fellowship) which usually takes another 1 to 3 years beyond their basic internal medicine training.