Physicians working within this specialty have a continuing responsibility for hospital inpatients who are not being cared for in the acute medicine unit. Although hospitals try to admit patients to the appropriate specialist ward soon after their admission, this cannot always be achieved, whether due to the illness not fitting specific criteria, or because of the size of the hospital.

Specialists in general internal medicine (GIM) care for a wide variety of patients. They may be suffering from any of a number of common disorders, may have multiple conditions or complex needs, or may represent a diagnostic conundrum. It is the GIM specialist's responsibility to coordinate these patients' continuing care.

As with acute medicine, specialists in this field collaborate with doctors from all other medical specialties, as well as other medical professionals such as nurses and therapists. At training level, general internal medicine can be combined with another medical specialty in order to gain dual accreditation.

Related RCP publications

Specialty training

For information about specialty training in general (internal) medicine, go to the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Postgraduate Training Board (JRCPTB) website.

Resource Date
2012 Census specialty reports and commentaries 24 March 2014
2012 Census summary 24 March 2014
Advance care planning 28 November 2011