“Medicine used to be simple, ineffective and relatively safe. It is now complex, effective and potentially dangerous”
This well known aphorism, wittily created by Professor Cyril Chantler, efficiently sums up the difference between the empirical kind of medicine of past centuries and progress made in the last centuries, sustained by scientifically proven research.
Precisely due to the damage medical mistakes could cause, doctors have had to constantly keep up to date, with in depth studies of each subject in order to attain maximum effectiveness of treatment, while reducing to a minimum all risks of complications for the patient. Consequently, this has caused increasingly specific areas of medical expertise, divided in specializations and sub-specializations which could guarantee experience on significant numbers of patients even in the most unusual cases, so that therapeutic protocols could always be up to date with the constant progress of medical research. On the other hand, though, there is a risk of excessive fragmentation in the course of diagnosis and therapy, which could adversely reduce the overall picture in the study of a patient.
The role of specialist hospital physician/internist arises precisely from this need, not only to diagnose and care for symptoms easily attributed to a specific sector of medicine, but also for someone able to handle problems which have not yet been precisely identified, or illnesses affecting one or more organs or systems.
This is where Internal Medicine comes into play, a branch of specialization oriented to the study of patients in their complex entirety, where all information gathered at the patient’s bedside, by means of accurate anamnestic examination and the aid of clinical semeiotics, is integrated by the information gathered with blood chemistry and instrumental tests.
The chosen therapy will be a logical consequence of these diagnostic conclusions and the internist’s role will be to apply those guidelines validated by scientific literature, which relates international experience subjecting it to rigorous scientific validation, adapting them every time to each patient’s unique situation, rather than to slavishly applying ready-made standard medical protocols.
It is quite common that an internist is also a specialist in one of the areas of Internal Medicine (cardiology, gastroenterology, etc.), in which he will be able to guide other members of the medical team.
Obviously, this wouldn’t exclude form the diagnostic and therapeutic process Organ and System specialists who, on the contrary, will be able to support the internist with their specific competencies in the area without, on the other hand, hindering a global view of each patient’s clinical problems.
In short, Internal Medicine is the specialization which, concerned with any complex problem lacking immediate surgical attention, deals with all aspects of prevention, diagnosis and therapy of adult medicine.
Recognising the importance and centrality of this role, in 2010 Le Betulle reorganised and expanded its Internal Medicine service, which is now able to guarantee highly qualified medical assistance with a professional team of expert internist doctors, available 24 hours a day all year round.