I have been going to a couple networking events recently in an attempt to raise awareness about my practice and to help grow my patient base. When I tell people I am a doctor they always ask me what kind of doctor I am. The conversations usually go like this.
What kind of doctor are you?
“I am an Internist”.
So you are an Intern?
“No I am an Internal Medicine Physician” I would say.
So you are a family doctor? Are you a General Practitioner?
All these questions made me realize a lot of people do not know the differences within primary care physicians. So here is small summary.
Pediatric Physician: A pediatrician is a doctor who is trained and specializes in the medical care of children.
Internal Medicine Physician: An Internist is trained and specializes in the medical care of adults.
Family Medicine Physician: Family Medicine physicians are trained in the medical care of both children and adults. I would consider them General Practitioners.
I like to think of myself as a less dysfunctional version of Dr House.
Dr Robert Centor of DB’s Medical Rants says it best.
“Internal medicine allows me to be a detective. Often on the inpatient service, we address diagnostic challenges. Many internists (this writer included) love the diagnostic process. We love talking with patients, listening carefully to the story, asking probing questions, reading the body language. We get excited when a physical exam finding gives us a clue. We pore over the labs and try to understand how they may help explain the patient’s current status. We order imaging to help narrow the diagnostic process”. Read the rest of his post here.
So back to the initial question. What kind of doctor am I? I follow an idealist way of practicing medicine. I believe I should be the best doctor I can be to my patients. That means I get to know them on a personal level, we spend time getting to the root cause of their issues, they take an active role in their health and they always have access to me. My practice style gives me the ability to have longer visits and a smaller patient panel. As a result, I have time to do the detective work needed for my patients. I hope that gives you an insight into what kind of doctor I am.
Health is Wealth!
Degha Fongod MD AKA Dr D