Internal medicine is a field that deals with all internal organs and the things that can go wrong with them. The doctors that work in this field are known as internists. It takes a lot of guts to be an internist, both when you are studying to become one, and when you are an established doctor of internal medicine. Here is why.
Internists Are Your "Second Opinion" Doctors
Internists not only have their own patients to care for, but they also have everyone else's patients, too. To clarify, internists are called upon by other doctors to confer about noted symptoms of disease and to help make judgement calls for treatments. This may require the internists scrubbing up and suiting up to enter a surgical suite during a surgery to look at something odd found by the surgeon, or examining a sample of tissue under a microscope to determine and/or confirm if the sample is malignant (cancerous). This all requires a very strong stomach, as an internist has to look at a lot of abnormal cells, cultures, diseased tissues, etc.
They Have to Make Risky Calls
Internists often have to make risky calls about how to treat a patient. This might include removing a seemingly healthy organ to prevent the possible spread of disease to that organ. The internist would only do this if he or she believes that the organ is either the possible source of the disease, or it is confirmed through patient history that a genetic disorder will take the organ anyway. Of course, none of these risky calls are done without informed patient consent, but that does not make these calls any less riskier.
If Something Goes Wrong on a Consult/Second Opinion Case, Internists Have to Take Responsibility
Along with acting as the consulting doctor on a case and making risky calls, internists have to accept the brunt of the responsibility for anything that goes wrong. That is double the pressure to do what most doctors already do. That super-intense level of stress is not for every doctor that practices medicine. It takes a special kind of doctor, one with guts, and one that often works with guts, to handle that much pressure, stress, and responsibility (i.e., an internist).
The Reality of Being an Internist
Finally, it should be noted that if it were not for human guts, internists would not have a job and would not exist. It is all of the internal organs and the diseases that impact them that make up the bulk of an internist's career. That is the reality of being an internist. For more information, speak with an internist at facilities like the Broadway Medical Clinic, LLP.