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What Are Internal Medicine Consultants?

Internal medicine consultants advise medical groups and hospitals on developing specialized programs.
Article Details
  • Written By: Nicole Long
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 09 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Internal medicine consultants work to ensure quality patient care in a variety of settings, including hospitals, medical facilities, and in private practice. They are typically highly-respected within the field of medicine and have years of experience. Some of the duties and responsibilities of an internal medicine consultant are overseeing staff, conducting audits, and providing consultations.

The purpose of employing internal medicine consultants in hospitals and medical facilities is to provide the best possible patient care. In a way, these consultants are advocates for patients, medical facilities, and the practice of medicine. They attempt to strike a balance between the needs and expectations of all the involved parties, in an effort to facilitate positive and efficient interactions.

Self-employed internal medicine consultants may operate their own practices and are primarily focused on patient care. They advise patients on surgical procedures and help them navigate the health care system so that they receive the best possible care. Patients of internal medicine consultants in private practice may find that consultants are better able to address overall health and chart a course for future care and goals. Consultants may even provide guidance on treatment options beyond medication, such as nutritional adjustments and exercise.

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Experience counts for physicians hoping to become an internal medicine consultant. Beyond completing medical school, consultants are typically required to have multiple years of work experience as a physician. This includes experience in a hospital setting, caring for multiple patients, if one chooses to pursue a job in a similar facility. A solid reputation among both peers and patients is another important attribute for internal medicine consultants.

One of the main duties of an internal medicine consultant working in a large setting is to oversee hospital or medical facility staff. This person must review the actions of staff and provide feedback to help improve the interactions between workers and patients. This can help promote efficiency and improves the likelihood that patients receive the best possible care while an in-patient. In theory, those in private practice oversee all of the health professionals that provide care for the internal medicine consultant's patients.

These health care providers also conduct audits and provide consultations for medical facilities. This can help medical facilities identify the need for improved processes and procedures to reduce cost and improve patient care. Consultants usually also provide suggestions on improving overall facility performance. They may also weigh in on difficult cases and help guide less experienced professionals to ensure efficiency.

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