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Internal medicine is the medical specialty dealing
with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of adult diseases.
Doctors of Internal Medicine, also known as internists, are
sometimes referred to as the "doctor's doctor," because
they are often called upon to act as consultants by other physicians
to help solve puzzling diagnostic problems. They are especially
skilled in the management of patients who have undifferentiated or
multi-system disease processes. An internist cares for hospitalized
and ambulatory patients and may play a major role in teaching or
research. Internal medicine is also a type of veterinary specialty.
The term internal medicine comes from the German term
innere Medizin, popularized in Germany in the late 19th
century to describe physicians who combined the science of the
laboratory with the care of patients. Many early-20th-century
American doctors studied medicine in Germany and brought this
medical field to the United States. Thus, the name "internal
medicine" was adopted in imitation of the existing German term. Specialists in internal medicine are commonly called internists in the United States.