17 years ago. My wife was almost 3 months pregnant, we hadn’t told anyone yet. In my office when she called to tell me about the attack. Riding in a police car across NYC with a machine gun mounted vehicle at each intersection. To the medical staging area at Chelsea Piers. The line of ambulances that never brought anyone – the first wave of victims went directly to the hospitals. The next wave of survivors walked out. Walking home from Chelsea Piers because it was the only way to get there. Remembering the people, the sights, the sounds and the smells. Mostly remembering my City coming together, figuring out how to get through a terrible day and find tomorrow.
As you sit in the doctor’s office for the first time, your eyes note the array of diplomas and plaques on the wall. You have never met this doctor before, but your friend said they were good, or you picked them out of a book, or you were referred by another doctor, and you are about to share intimate details of your life with them. You have questions about how you feel, and you are going to get a diagnosis. But who is the person behind the plaques? What do all those fancy diplomas mean? After all, they call the person who finished last in the medical school class the same thing as the first – “Doctor”. Doesn’t it make sense that you know something about this person who is going to ask you personal questions and examine you? Shouldn’t you know more about this person you call “Doctor”? Well, I think the answer to this question is YES! So who am I? Keep reading…
All doctors are trained to make diagnoses, some within specialities – orthopedists, neurologists, surgeons, etc. Most diagnoses are first evaluated by a primary care doctor. There are several specialities that make up primary care doctors – who you see will depend on age, who practices where you live and possibly your gender. Examples of primary care doctors:
- Family Practitioner – a physician trained broadly to care for a person from birth to death
- OB/GYN – a physician trained in women’s health and pregnancy care
- Pediatrician – a physician who specializes in the care of children
- Internist – a physician who specializes in the care of adults
How did I get here?
What is next?
So what is an Internist? The ACP defines it as:
“Internal Medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness.”
The path to wellness begins with a proper diagnosis