EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF INTERNAL MEDICINE, vol.26, no.1, pp.9-11, 2015 (SCI-Expanded)
The changing demography of European populations mandates a vital role for internists in caring for patients in each level of healthcare. Internists in the tertiary or academic setting are highly ranked in terms of their responsibilities: they are clinicians, educators, researchers, role models, mentors and administrators. Contrary to the highly focused approach of sub-specialties, general internists working in academic settings can ensure that coordinated care is delivered in the most cost-conscious and efficient way. Moreover, internal medicine is one of the most appropriate specialties in which to teach clinical reasoning skills, decision-making and analytical thinking, as well as evidence based, patient oriented medicine. Internists deal with challenging patients of the new millennium with a high burden of chronic diseases and polypharmacy; practice personalised medicine with a wide scientific background and so they are the perfect fit to establish and implement new tools for scientific research. In conclusion, internal medicine is developing a new identity as a specialty in its own right. The European Federation of Internal Medicine supports the concept of academic internists and calls upon the member countries to construct academic (general) internal medicine departments in their respective countries. As 'internal medicine is the cornerstone of every national healthcare system', academic (general) internal medicine should strive to be the cornerstone of every integrated, patient-centred, modern medical care and training system. (C) 2014 European Federation of Internal Medicine. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.