Unlike other specialty fields, such as a cardiologist or gastroenterologist, internists restrict their services to adults and do not treat children. A professional specializing in internal medicine is not limited to one specific region of the human body. Internists are trained to provide care and treatment for all bodily systems and functions, from the head to the toes.
The healthcare services that an internist provides are targeted toward diagnosing a patient's symptoms and prescribing follow-up treatment. Internists can handle and treat physical ailments, illnesses and diseases. They can help patients dealing with issues such as substance abuse or mental illness. And they can treat minor ailments such as colds and allergies. Internists don't perform surgical procedures, so if you require services outside the realm of their practice, the doctor will usually refer you to a specialist.