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Internal medicine physicians, also known as internists, are specially trained to prevent, diagnose and treat nonsurgical conditions and diseases that affect adults, including common to rare and simple to complex conditions. Internists, who promote and help their patients maintain good overall health, focus on the entire patient instead of a particular organ system. They are specially trained to treat hard-to-diagnose conditions and severe chronic illnesses and may treat multiple conditions at one time.
Internists treat conditions in the nervous, digestive, endocrine and circulatory systems - conditions that may affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, ears and skin. In addition, internists treat high blood pressure, hypertension, heart disease and common illnesses such as the flu. Internists work collaboratively with other physician specialists and make referrals when necessary. Internists also focus on educating patients on topics such as exercise, hygiene and nutrition to help them better manage their lifestyles and prevent illnesses. In addition, internists treat patients with mental-health and substance-abuse issues.