Internal medicine is a field of practice that is focused on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the entire spectrum of illnesses that affect adults of all age categories.
Internal medicine emerged in the 1800s, and since then, the field has already undergone exponential growth—and so has the demand for internal medicine doctors. According to the growth forecast made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018, employment opportunity for internal medicine doctors is expected to increase by 13 percent through 2026, compared to other occupations that are only seen to grow by 7 percent. This growth forecast predates the COVID-19 pandemic and is mainly ascribed to the increasing demand for healthcare services by the aging population.
It is worth noting that there are a number of other reasons why internal medicine doctors are in such high demand. These are evidently due to the general and subspecialty nature of the training involved in the field and the role internists play during the current healthcare crisis. Let’s delve deeper into these reasons:
Internal Medicine is a Highly Versatile Medical Specialty
Internal medicine involves intensive training in both the outpatient and inpatient settings, and the extensive hospital experience that comes with such training equips internists with what they need, should they decide to just focus on providing inpatient care.
Their training in both general internal medicine and whichever subspecialties they choose to venture into enables internal medicine doctors to expertly diagnose and treat adult patients—even those living with multiple medical conditions.
The following are some of the subspecialties internal medicine doctors can venture into:
- Adolescent medicine
- Allergy and immunology
- Geriatric medicine
- Pulmonary medicine
An internal medicine doctor is sometimes referred to as a “doctor’s doctor,” as they are the go-to for referrals. Internal medicine doctors are often called upon to consult and interact with other specialists to come up with an effective treatment strategy for patients living with complex diseases, which often require a multifaceted approach.
Internists Hold an Integral Role During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The current healthcare crisis—the COVID-19 pandemic—has fueled the already-increasing demand for internal medicine doctors.
As primary care physicians themselves, internal medicine doctors play a foundational role as advocates for COVID-19 prevention, essential care coordinators, providers of care continuity, and sources of scientific information, testing, and vaccination.
There have been deep-rooted misgivings about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine among many Americans. Internal medicine doctors can quell this hesitancy by providing their patients with both clinical and personal support to get a better understanding of their COVID-19 immunologic status. Internal medicine doctors can leverage their relationships with their patients to counsel them about the lifesaving benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine. This translates into being able to build local community trust and acting as a source of scientific information about the vaccine.
To help reduce the risk of transmission associated with in-office visits, more and more internal medicine doctors have embraced the telemedicine and concierge medicine healthcare delivery models to enable patients to receive personalized care right in the comfort of their home.
In a nutshell, concierge medical care is a type of service that involves paid membership, so a patient can have access to one-on-one, comprehensive, and round-the-clock care with their primary care physician. In essence, a patient has a primary care doctor at their disposal, which is extremely beneficial, especially in situations wherein agile responses are direly needed. Being able to talk to their doctors even beyond traditional business hours also greatly puts patients at ease, knowing that they finally have convenient access to medical care and their doctor’s undivided time and attention.
Internal medicine doctors harness these healthcare delivery models to provide counseling and support to patients to ensure their overall health and well-being amid the COVID-19 pandemic—when depression and other mental conditions are at an unprecedented peak.
Internal Medicine Doctor in Tucson, AZ
With nearly four decades of experience in the field of internal medicine, Dr. Robert Lending is the expert that you need to help you take effective control of your health throughout your life. He is one of the few physicians in Arizona offering concierge medicine services, which are part of his goal to provide high-quality, comprehensive, personalized care to the people in his community.
To learn more about our concierge medicine services or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Robert Lending, call us at (520) 795-4291. For non-urgent concerns, you may use our online appointment request form.