What are the branches of internal medicine

Internal medicine: diversity and freedom

Internal medicine is one of the most popular subjects - and for good reason, because the job opportunities and career prospects are diverse, especially with a view to population development.

Photo: Keystone / Christian Beutler

Working in internal medicine means diversity: the fields of work for internists range from A for angiology to internal intensive care medicine. The patients with whom specialists in internal medicine deal are no less diverse. But that is precisely what makes this subject so attractive for many doctors.

Most popular subject

This is also reflected in the fact that, alongside surgery, internal medicine is the most popular subject among medical students. According to the current model further training regulations, internal medicine comprises nine different specialist competencies, although several specialist titles can be acquired in this area or in combination with titles from other areas.

Dr. med. Mariam Abu-Tair made use of it. “I work in my dream job,” says the specialist in internal medicine, nephrology and emergency medicine. Her decision to become a doctor was made early on, especially since her parents put internal medicine into practice for her with a lot of passion. “This and my work as a student assistant in an internal intensive care unit during my studies showed me the many facets of this subject, so that actually no other subject came into question for me,” emphasizes Abu-Tair. As an internist and nephrologist, she has found the area for herself that brings with it an optimal combination of intensive care medicine, outpatient medicine and also a little family doctor activity.

But no matter what focus you choose, one thing is certain: Internal medicine will always occupy the central place in patient care precisely because of its diversity, not least because of the population development and the associated increase in internal diseases. “Over six million Germans already suffer from diabetes - and the trend is rising. By 2030, a third of the population will be 65 years or older. Many of them are then multimorbid - in other words, suffer from several diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart failure, ”said the Society for Internal Medicine.

Angiology is on the rise

In addition to the problems caused by multiple illnesses and difficult or complex diagnoses, the prevention and therapy of acute and chronic illnesses as well as palliative care are special fields of activity in internal medicine.

The youngest branch of internal medicine, angiology, is also attractive. "The number of patients is increasing rapidly, so this area offers good future prospects," said Dr. med. Gabriela Marin, Senior Physician at the Clinic for Angiology and Interventional Vascular Medicine at the Agaplesion Bethesda Hospital at the specialist surgery career congress in December last year in Cologne. 39 percent of men and 27 percent of women over the age of 80 suffer from chronic peripheral arterial disease.

But other areas of focus also offer good career opportunities. This applies both to work in a clinic and to the branch, for example as an internal doctor. "It's just so much fun," says Dr. med. Wolfgang Blank, specialist in internal medicine and general medicine.

In any case, one thing applies from Priv. Doz. med. Werner Hofmann from the Clinic for Early Rehabilitation and Geriatrics at the Friedrich-Ebert-Hospital (FEK) in Neumünster for every internist trained specialist: the internist is the criminalist among the doctors, because “he is fit for emergencies, he smells the risk, he takes his time, he looks at the findings, he examines the environment, he researches the psychosocial context, he collects the medical history, and he asks: Why? "

Petra Spielberg