How Do Internal Medicine Doctors Diagnose Patients?

internal medicine Houston, TX

Internal medicine deals with the diagnosis of adult diseases.

Internal medicine doctors (medical professionals who have completed an internal medicine residency program) use a detailed process to diagnose the underlying cause of disease-related symptoms in patients. It is helpful to understand the diagnosis process when visiting an internal medicine doctor for the first time.

The internal medicine diagnosis procedure

Each patient is unique, and the ways in which an internal medicine doctor diagnosis a disease may vary. However, there are certain procedures that are more common in the internal medicine diagnostic process than others.

The following are four common methods used to diagnose illnesses in internal medicine. 

Symptom documentation

The first thing an internal medicine doctor is likely to do is document the patient's symptoms. He or she is likely to do so by asking the patient detailed questions about what issues they have been facing, how prevalent the symptoms appear and the severity of the symptoms when they exist. The internal medicine doctor is also likely to ask questions about the patient’s previous medical history and medications they currently take. 

Physical examination

Many internal medicine doctors may also conduct a physical examination of the patient. Of course, physical examination plays a much smaller role in diagnosis with internal medicine as the issue most commonly resides inside the patient, rather than the patient having noticeable physical symptoms. However, certain adult diseases do show physical symptoms, such as in the case of cancer where there are lumps felt underneath the skin. 

Wellness screenings

A wellness screening involves blood testing, urine samples and other testing procedures. The wellness test gives a good indication of the patient’s general health. It may also reveal specific information that helps with a more precise diagnosis. Among other potential health complications, an internal medicine doctor might order a wellness screening to check the patient’s blood pressure, cholesterol levels and to test for certain diseases.

A wellness screening is completely non-invasive and does not take long for an internist to complete. 

Other testing procedures

It is important to keep in mind that internal medicine is a broad definition. There are many different sub-specialties within internal medicine, such as cardiology, gastroenterology and endocrinology. Medical professionals within each specialty likely use their own precise testing procedures depending on the area of the body they study. While certain tests, such as blood testing, are constant across all sub-areas, certain procedures, such as the use of an electrocardiogram, might be specific to a specialty.

Talk to an internal medicine doctor today

Internal medicine has evolved throughout the years. It helps many adults with a disease receive a quick diagnosis and effective treatment. Internal medicine deals with the prevention of diseases as well.

If you are interested in learning more about internal medicine or experience symptoms that cause concern and want to start the diagnosis process, then consult with us here at our office and schedule a time for your first visit. 

Request an appointment here: https://www.woodforestmd.com or call Woodforest Pediatric & Family Clinic at (713) 597-6989 for an appointment in our Houston office.

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