Internal Medicine

Department of Medicine

The DEPARTMENT of MEDICINE is an organizational unit that incorporates the specialties and subspecialties in the DIVISIONS of Internal Medicine, Infectious diseases, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Pulmonology, Endocrinology, Neurology, Nephrology, Rheumatology, Dermatology, Psychiatry, Medical Oncology & Hematology.

The Chair of the department, within a university hospital, is expected to provide visionary leadership of the department and to oversee the departmental strategic planning so as to improve the quality of the clinical, educational, and research programs. Such planning should be in accord with the overall vision for the hospital and the university.

In cooperation with the Medical School administration and the Chiefs of Divisions, the Chair participates in intra-institutional planning for the implementation of the approved Department academic and staffing plans, such as morning rounds, in-hospital teaching conferences, patients files discussion, mortality & morbidity committee, credentialing committee…etc.

Two additional responsibilities of the Chair of department are: articulating and stewarding the vision and values of the department, and managing its leadership structure, assuring that the department has excellent division chiefs who work well together.

Department of Medicine must also relate to colleagues outside the department and to other organizational units within the hospital, including other departments, medical direction, administrative units and medical school direction.

 Internal Medicine division

The division of INTERNAL MEDICINE is a part of the DEPARTMENT of MEDICINE and includes four main categories of physicians:

1- General Medicine physicians (or General Practitioners): whose formation consists only of seven years at medical school including two years of in-hospital training within different divisions. They are medical doctors and primary care physicians who treat common acute and chronic illnesses and provide preventive and health education to patients in an out-patient and in-hospital settings.

2- General Internal Medicine physicians: whose formation is like General Practitioner plus three year residency program @ hospital. Besides being primary care physicians, they are specialists dealing with the prevention, diagnosis, and medical (nonsurgical) treatment of adult diseases. They provide long-term, comprehensive care and manage both common and complex diseases in an out-patient and in-hospital settings. After completing residency training, they may subspecialize in a single-organ-disease specialty.

3- Family Medicine physicians ; whose formation is like General Practitioner plus three year residency @ hospital and OPD. Besides being primary care physicians, they are specialists dealing with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of patients at any age but mainly in an out-patient setting. They differ also from specialists in internal medicine because their training is not solely concentrated on adults and may include surgeryobstetrics, and pediatrics

4- Specialized Internal Medicine & Clinical Immunology physicians: whose formation is like Internal medicine specialists plus at least two years of sub-specialization in auto-immune or other rare diseases. Besides their job as primary care physicians, they are skilled in the management of patients who have undifferentiated or multi-system disease processes such as connective tissue diseases, auto-immune diseases and systemic rare diseases. They care for hospitalized and ambulatory patients and should play a major role in teaching and research. They do not provide necessarily less expertise than single-organ specialists, rather, they are trained to manage particularly complex or multisystem disease, conditions that single-organ-disease specialists may not be trained to deal with. They may be asked to tackle undifferentiated presentations that cannot be easily fitted within the expertise of a single-organ specialty, such as dyspnoea, fatigue, weight loss, chest pain, confusion or change in conscious state. They may manage serious acute illnesses that affect multiple organ systems at the same time in a single patient, and they may manage multiple chronic diseases or “comorbidities” that a single patient may have.

Because hospitalized patients in the department of medicine are often seriously ill or require complex investigations and multiple consultations by single-organ-disease specialists, Internal medicine specialists do much of their work in hospitals and play the role of “Chef d’orchestre” to organize the medical management of the patient, avoid interactions in different treatments and take final decisions.