Internal Medicine

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The Internal Medicine (English internal medicine ) deals with the health disorders and diseases of the internal organs and their prevention , diagnosis , conservative and interventional treatment and rehabilitation and follow-up. Internal medicine specialists are also known as internists .

Areas of activity

The specialist focal points of the internists include diseases in particular

Internal medicine also includes:

The training regulations for specialists in internal medicine (internists) and the additional training in internal medicine are different in different countries.

The specialist field developed in the 19th century from the general discipline “Special Pathology and Therapy”. Anton de Haën founded a medical clinic specializing in internal medicine as early as 1754 in Vienna.

Most important examination methods in internal medicine

Current development trends

As a result of the rapid increase in knowledge in its sub-areas, internal medicine is subject to increasing sub-specialization. The fact that the classic, well-trained general internist is being displaced more and more by the representatives of individual sub-areas in many industrialized countries also meets with criticism. In 2007, at the 110th German Medical Congress, it was decided to reintroduce further training to become a specialist in internal medicine without a specialization. The general practice is an independent medical specialty and borders greatly from the internal medicine from, although in the meantime tendencies existed to unite the two disciplines.

In addition to the progressive independence of the organ-related specialist areas, the following trends are emerging:

  • In Germany, a division into a specialist and a general practitioner domain, which is associated with sensitive restrictions on the area of ​​competence of general practitioners working internists, is established due to health insurance.
  • The methods of internal medicine are becoming more and more invasive, at least in the special areas, so that their complication rates can be compared with smaller surgical interventions. This is particularly true in the field of cardiology and gastroenterology .
  • Internal medicine may overlap in some areas. a. with radiology , neurology and laboratory medicine . Since smaller hospitals do not always have their own specialists in these areas, these tasks are carried out by internists.
  • Molecular biology is becoming increasingly important due to multiple genetic and epigenetic changes.

The designation " Specialist for internal and general medicine ( family doctor )" could be acquired around 2008 after a resolution of the 110th German Medical Association in 2007 to promote family doctor- centered care in several federal states . However, due to concerns under European law, this specialist designation may no longer be used today following a resolution passed by the 113th Federal Medical Association in 2010. But entitles remains to branch as a contract physician ; then you can only call yourself a doctor or a specialist in general medicine (but not a doctor in general medicine ).

Specialist title internist

Internists have completed further medical training in the field of internal medicine and completed this with a specialist examination .


The official name in Germany is specialist for internal medicine (optionally also internist ). In order to be allowed to use this professional title, a doctor must complete further training of at least 60 months (5 years) in a recognized further training facility with further training regulations established by the state medical associations. There is also the option of choosing a focus. The further training period is then at least 72 months (6 years). At the end of the training there is an oral exam in both cases. The further training regulations can vary depending on the chamber district, as training sovereignty in Germany is subject to the respective medical associations .

According to the current training regulations, there are the following specialist titles for internal medicine:

In addition to choosing a focus, it is possible in Germany to acquire various additional qualifications. These include, for example, infectious diseases and emergency medicine .

Web links

Commons : Internal medicine  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Internal Medicine (1914)  - Article on the state with a focus on Germany 1914
Wikibooks: Internal Medicine online textbook  - learning and teaching materials


Individual evidence

  1. Willibald Pschyrembel: Clinical Dictionary. 267th edition. De Gruyter, 2017, ISBN 978-3-11-049497-6 . ( Keyword internal medicine, online )
  2. Axel W. Bauer : Internal Medicine. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 674.
  3. BDI is sticking to the specialist in internal medicine. (PDF)
  4. journalmed , June 13, 2007
  5. Berlin Medical Association on the reintroduction of internists without a focus ( memento from July 18, 2012 in the web archive )
  6. ^ Agnieszka Wolf: Further training in internal and general medicine. Thieme, January 30, 2006.
  7. ↑ Representation of interests in the KV committees: division is a mistake. ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. North Rhine Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, November 4, 2014. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Thomas Meißner: Internists Congress: Departure into a new era. In: Ärzte-Zeitung , April 17, 2015.
  9. Internal medicine / The internist. Professional Association of German Internists, accessed on February 3, 2019 .