Internal medicine: a career path that leads to much more

WHAT kind of doctor do you want to be?

If you want to be a medical professional who thrives on providing your patients with comprehensive care to optimise their wellbeing, then you should consider a career in internal medicine.

Internal medicine is a combination of clinical diagnostics on a broad range of complex and common conditions, with a personalised and compassionate approach to medicine.

A doctor of internal medicine – called internists – specialises in managing diseases of internal organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver and lungs, while also serving as a primary care physician for adult patients.

The subspecialties within internal medicine include cardiology, gastroenterology, pulmonary or

critical care, infectious disease, haematology or oncology and nephrology.

Versatile and in-demand

Internists are trained to provide complete patient care.

As such, they can work in a number of different contexts, whether as primary care physicians, hospitalists or a combination of both, because they treat such a wide range of illnesses.

Some operate in a group or private practice, while others work in clinics, hospitals or medical offices.

Subsequently, internal medicine is often considered to be the gateway to a wide range of subspecialities.

Internists may opt to continue as general physicians or undergo additional training to specialise in a subspeciality.

Whichever path you choose, your services will be highly demanded, as it is projected that Malaysia will require an additional 28,000 specialists by 2030 to meet the demands of our growing and ageing population.

If you relish being a significant contributor to medical research, internal medicine may be a good fit for you too. This discipline places high value on research and internists are important in applying fundamental science information to clinical treatment, as well as in basic science discoveries.

Those who are team players will also benefit from being an internist. It is believed that most internists, including those in training programmes, will operate in teams in the future, with many leading the teams rather than practising independently.

Nurses, pharmacists, social workers, other professionals and other medical experts will make up the rest of the team, which is organised around the characteristics of the people or communities being treated.

To learn more, you can attend Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia’s ongoing masterclasses for medical students and healthcare professionals, which are held under its Forward NUMed banner.

The latest masterclass, titled ‘Internal Medicine as a Speciality – The Fast Track Way!’, features notable speakers including International Medical University Malaysia professor of internal medicine Prof Datuk Dr Kew Siang Tong, Health Ministry medical development division deputy director Hirman Ismail, College of Physicians Malaysia president Prof Dr GR Letchuman Ramanathan, Malaysia Advanced Acute Internal Medicine and Ultrasound Society Datuk Seri Dr Paras Doshi, as well as NUMed honorary professor and consultant physician Edmund Ong.

The masterclass will be held this Saturday (Nov 27), from 9am to 12.30pm. Those interested can register at

For the latest updates on upcoming webinars or masterclasses, visit the Forward NUMed: Charting New Paths to the Next Normal Facebook page or email You may also contact 07-555 3800 or WhatsApp 011-1231 5411 / 012-7849456.

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