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General Medicine

General medicine, or internal medicine, is a branch of healthcare that is primarily focused on the prevention, diagnosis, and non-surgical treatment of a huge range of medical conditions in adults. General practitioners serve as primary care physicians, addressing common illnesses, chronic diseases, and overall well-being. They conduct several physical examinations, order diagnostic tests, and offer treatment plans, often coordinating care with specialists. General medicine emphasizes a holistic approach to patient care, considering not only physical health but also the psychological and social factors that contribute to well-rounded healthcare.

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About General Medicine

The subspecialties of general medicine provide tailored healthcare services for various patient demographics and medical needs. While internal medicine and family medicine cover a broad spectrum of patient populations, geriatric medicine, sports medicine, and hospital medicine address more specific age groups and medical scenarios.

Types Of General Medicine

General medicine encompasses several key subspecialties, each with its focus and expertise. These subspecialties cater to specific medical conditions and patient populations, ensuring a comprehensive approach to healthcare. Here are five types of general medicine:

  1. Internal Medicine: Internal medicine physicians, or internists, are general practitioners who provide primary care to adults. They diagnose, manage, and prevent a wide array of medical conditions, emphasizing a holistic approach to health. They are often the first point of contact for adult patients and manage various chronic diseases.

  2. Family Medicine: Family medicine practitioners specialize in providing comprehensive care for patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly. They focus on preventive care, health maintenance, and treating acute and chronic illnesses within the context of the family unit.

  3. Geriatric Medicine: Geriatricians specialize in the care of elderly patients. They address the unique healthcare needs of older adults, including age-related conditions, multiple chronic diseases, and issues related to aging, such as cognitive impairment.

  4. Sports Medicine: Sports medicine physicians focus on the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and conditions related to physical activity. They work with athletes and active individuals to optimize performance and manage musculoskeletal injuries, exercise-related issues, and sports-specific medical concerns.

  5. Hospital Medicine: Hospitalists are specialists who care for patients within the hospital setting. They manage the treatment of acute illnesses, coordinate care during hospital stays, and ensure a smooth transition to outpatient care upon discharge.

Procedure of General Medicine

General medicine encompasses a procedural approach that encompasses the following key steps:

  1. Patient Assessment and Medical History: The process begins with a comprehensive evaluation of the patient's medical history and current health status. The general medicine practitioner collects information about previous illnesses, family medical history, current medications, and lifestyle factors that may impact the patient's health.

  2. Physical Examination: A thorough physical examination is conducted to assess the patient's overall health. This includes checking vital signs (such as blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature) and examining various body systems. The physician may listen to the heart and lungs, check reflexes, and perform other specific assessments based on the patient's complaints and medical history.

  3. Diagnostic Testing: Depending on the patient's symptoms and physical examination findings, the doctor may order diagnostic tests. These can include blood tests, imaging studies (e.g., X-rays, ultrasounds, or CT scans), electrocardiograms (ECGs), and other specialized tests to help diagnose or monitor medical conditions.

  4. Diagnosis and Treatment Planning: Once a diagnosis is made, the physician discusses the findings with the patient and formulates a treatment plan. This plan may involve medications, lifestyle changes, referrals to specialists, or further testing.

  5. Medication Management: If medication is prescribed, the doctor discusses the purpose, dosage, potential side effects, and any necessary precautions with the patient. Medications are prescribed to treat a variety of medical conditions, from infections to chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes.

  6. Preventive Care: General medicine practitioners emphasize the importance of preventive care. This may include immunizations, health screenings, lifestyle counseling (e.g., smoking cessation, weight management), and guidance on maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine

  7. Patient Education: Education plays a vital role in general medicine. Physicians inform patients about their conditions, treatment options, and the importance of compliance. They also discuss how to recognize warning signs and when to seek medical attention

  8. Follow-up and Continuity of Care: General medicine practitioners maintain continuity of care by scheduling follow-up appointments to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan. Regular check-ups are crucial to ensure ongoing health and address any changes in the patient's condition.

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