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Career profile Internal Medicine Physician

Also known as Attending Physician, Gastroenterologist, General Internist, Internal Medicine Doctor, Internal Medicine Physician (IM Physician), Internist, Medical Doctor (MD), Physician

Internal Medicine Physician

Also known as Attending Physician, Gastroenterologist, General Internist

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Social
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$64,340 - $208,000+ (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
Core tasks
  • Analyze records, reports, test results, or examination information to diagnose medical condition of patient.
  • Treat internal disorders, such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, or problems of the lung, brain, kidney, or gastrointestinal tract.
  • Prescribe or administer medication, therapy, and other specialized medical care to treat or prevent illness, disease, or injury.
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What does an Internal Medicine Physician do?

Internal Medicine Physicians diagnose and provide nonsurgical treatment for a wide range of diseases and injuries of internal organ systems.

In addition, Internal Medicine Physicians provide care mainly for adults and adolescents, and are based primarily in an outpatient care setting.

What kind of tasks does an Internal Medicine Physician perform regularly?

Internal Medicine Physicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Analyze records, reports, test results, or examination information to diagnose medical condition of patient.
  • Treat internal disorders, such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, or problems of the lung, brain, kidney, or gastrointestinal tract.
  • Prescribe or administer medication, therapy, and other specialized medical care to treat or prevent illness, disease, or injury.
  • Manage and treat common health problems, such as infections, influenza or pneumonia, as well as serious, chronic, and complex illnesses, in adolescents, adults, and the elderly.
  • Explain procedures and discuss test results or prescribed treatments with patients and parents or guardians.
  • Provide and manage long-term, comprehensive medical care, including diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of diseases, for adult patients in an office or hospital.
  • Advise patients and community members concerning diet, activity, hygiene, and disease prevention.
  • Make diagnoses when different illnesses occur together or in situations where the diagnosis may be obscure.
  • Monitor patients' conditions and progress and reevaluate treatments as necessary.
  • Refer patient to medical specialist or other practitioner when necessary.
  • Collect, record, and maintain patient information, such as medical histories, reports, or examination results.
  • Provide consulting services to other doctors caring for patients with special or difficult problems.
  • Advise surgeon of a patient's risk status and recommend appropriate intervention to minimize risk.
  • Immunize patients to protect them from preventable diseases.
  • Direct and coordinate activities of nurses, students, assistants, specialists, therapists, and other medical staff.
  • Prepare government or organizational reports on birth, death, and disease statistics, workforce evaluations, or the medical status of individuals.

The above responsibilities are specific to Internal Medicine Physicians. More generally, Internal Medicine Physicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

What is an Internal Medicine Physician salary?

The median salary for an Internal Medicine Physician is over $208,000, and the average salary is $210,960. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Internal Medicine Physician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Internal Medicine Physicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Internal Medicine Physicians earn less than $64,340 per year, 25% earn less than $112,490, 75% earn more than $208,000, and 90% earn more than $208,000.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Internal Medicine Physicians is expected to change by -0.7%, and there should be roughly 1,500 open positions for Internal Medicine Physicians every year.

Median annual salary
Over $208,000
Typical salary range
$64,340 - Over $208,000
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-0.7%

What personality traits are common among Internal Medicine Physicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Internal Medicine Physician are usually higher in their Investigative, Social, and Realistic interests.

Internal Medicine Physicians typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Internal Medicine Physicians typically have strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Lastly, Internal Medicine Physicians typically have moderate Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Internal Medicine Physician tend to value Independence, Relationships, and Recognition.

Most importantly, Internal Medicine Physicians very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Internal Medicine Physicians very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Internal Medicine Physicians very strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Internal Medicine Physicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, integrity, and stress tolerance.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Internal Medicine Physicians, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

What education and training do Internal Medicine Physicians need?

Many Internal Medicine Physicians have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Internal Medicine Physicians may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Internal Medicine Physicians

  • 100.0% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Internal Medicine Physicians

Internal Medicine Physicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as medicine and dentistry, biology, or psychology knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Internal Medicine Physicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Internal Medicine Physicians

Internal Medicine Physicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Internal Medicine Physicians need abilities such as problem sensitivity, oral comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Internal Medicine Physicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by Internal Medicine Physicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Internal Medicine Physicians frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Internal Medicine Physicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Science
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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