Career Development

Physician specialty: Internal medicine


Whether you’re a medical student considering a specialty, a resident or fellow, or a practicing physician, the American Medical Association is here to help with information, resources and continuing medical education (CME) for internal medicine.

Membership brings great benefits.

  • Thousands of CME courses from AMA Ed Hub™
  • Coding guidance with CPT® Assistant
  • Unlimited access to the JAMA Network™

Internal medicine focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of common to complex illnesses and conditions throughout the body in adults.

Physicians in internal medicine provide care for adults across the spectrum from full health to complex illness. They can choose to become a general internist or an internal medicine subspecialist.

General internists handle a broad range of illnesses affecting adults and are experts in diagnosis as well as health promotion and disease prevention. Many general internists provide care in ambulatory settings, serving as primary care physicians. Other general internists practice in inpatient settings, such as hospitals, rehabilitations centers, hospices and extended care facilities.

An internist may also become a subspecialist in internal medicine after receiving additional training and board certification in diseases of a specific type or those affecting a single organ system.

General internal medicine specialists and subspecialists also have opportunities to teach medical students, residents and fellows, as well as conduct medical research.

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Following medical school, three years of specialty training in internal medicine is required prior to certification. Additional training may vary for subspecialists in internal medicine depending on their focus.

In 2023, the average internal medicine physician salary was $293,894*. The average resident/fellow salary was $59,840.59+.

If you’re a medical student considering an internal medicine residency or a current resident looking to change programs to internal medicine, these were the top 10 most-viewed residency programs in internal medicine in 2023 from FREIDA™, the AMA Residency & Fellowship Database®.

  1. Brookwood Baptist Health Program
  2. Cook County Health and Hospitals System Program
  3. One Brooklyn Health System/Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center Program
  4. University of Alabama Medical Center Program
  5. Bridgeport Hospital/Yale University Program
  6. HCA Florida JFK Hospital/University of Miami Miller School of Medicine GME Consortium Program
  7. Jacobi Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine Program
  8. MedStar Health/Georgetown-Washington Hospital Center Program
  9. SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University Program
  10. Maimonides Medical Center Program

For practicing physicians in internal medicine, the AMA Ed Hub™ provides a deep selection of CME options to help keep skills and knowledge current, at home or on the go. Earn as much as 4.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ from these popular courses for starters.



No matter where you are in your career, stay current on the latest research and findings in internal medicine with content from the JAMA Network™.


*Doximity 2023 Physician Compensation Report (PDF)

+FREIDA Specialty Guide