Why modern internists should be also researchers?

Published:January 20, 2017DOI:
      Internal Medicine has drastically changed over the last years. Similarly, medical education has undergone significant changes, especially after the introduction of simulation- based medical teaching and learning. Nevertheless, internal medicine has maintained some peculiar aspects. The teaching of semiology and clinical methodology, especially in University hospitals, the academic discussions, and the teaching of applied clinical practice remain the fundamental tools of this field of medicine, which represent the basis of every doctors, independently from future specializations [
      • Cataldi Amatrian R.M.
      Internal medicine: past, present and future.
      ]. During the last decades, the progressive exponential growth of medical knowledge has led to an intensive career specialization, and sometimes ultra-specialization. Doubtless, this approach to modern clinical practice has had several advantages in treating several medical problems and offering at the same time the best medical treatment to different diseases. However, the main limitation of this ultra-specialized approach may be the loss of the global patient's management, which only Internal Medicine can offer. Recently, it has been estimated that the doubling time of medical knowledge rise from 7 years in 1980 to 3.5 years in 2010. Future projection estimates that this time will be only 0.2 years in the 2020, or rather about 70 days [
      • Densen P.
      Challenges and opportunities facing medical education.
      ]. In future years, we should get with the times! How? From a practical prospective, medical research will be the “fuel” for both future clinical practice and medical update and probably the only way to stay “tuned up”. Independently from the type of research, basic or clinical, both the conductions or the simple involvement into research programmes will provide a deeper and adequate understating of new medical breakthroughs. Furthermore, active medical research is a useful tool to understand and create synergies between colleagues in an increasingly globalized world. However, medical research could help us only if the teaching approach will change in the next years. For this purpose, it is important that the future generation of doctors can be involved in medical research as soon as possible, also if they are not interested in a future academic career. Indeed, medical research is not only a job, but a complex process which build up the scientific skills of a physician. The future internist should be able to adapt to shorter doubling time of medical knowledge to maintain its role in the field of medicine.


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        • Cataldi Amatrian R.M.
        Internal medicine: past, present and future.
        Ital J Med. 2007; 1: 10-11
        • Densen P.
        Challenges and opportunities facing medical education.
        Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 2011; 122: 48-58

      Linked Article

      • Generalism in modern subspecializing medicine
        European Journal of Internal MedicineVol. 39
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          Medicine is currently developing at a breath holding pace. Diseases and medical conditions for which no remedy was available only a few years ago, can now be treated or even completely cured. However, this advancement of medicine comes with increasing complexity in many situations.
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