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General Medicine

General Medicine


Doctors in general internal medicine are trained to manage patients presenting with a wide range of acute and long-term medical conditions and symptoms.

Doctors working in general internal medicine (GIM) have particular expertise in diagnostic reasoning, managing uncertainty, dealing with co-morbidities (complex medical problems involving multiple symptoms and conditions), and recognizing when specialty opinion or care is required.

The work involves:

  • Diagnosing and treating the wide spectrum of medical disorders that present acutely to hospital emergency departments and acute medical units, referring for specialist opinion and care as appropriate.

  • Providing advice and care for patients admitted to the hospital under other specialties (e.g. surgery, obstetrics & gynecology) who have or develop medical problems.

  • Diagnosing and treating the wide spectrum of medical conditions that are referred to medical outpatient clinics.

  • Managing inpatients and outpatients with co-morbidities, including elderly patients with frailty and dementia.

Doctors specializing in GIM are part of the acute medical care workforce, which includes those who practice acute medicine, geriatrics, and other ‘ physical specialties’ such as gastroenterology, diabetes, endocrinology, respiratory medicine, cardiology, renal medicine, and rheumatology.

Most doctors who practice GIM are also trained in another physical specialty or sub-specialty. Some physicians may also combine GIM with academic research or a non-clinical role.

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