Internal medicine is defined as general and comprehensive medicine that specializes in the internal organs of the body located inside the chest and abdomen, such as the heart, lungs, and stomach, away from surgical intervention. It is not specialized in the abdomen only as many beliefs.
The Internist or the internal medicine doctor is responsible for treating internal diseases in general, such as respiratory diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, cardiology problems, endocrine diseases, blood diseases, and nephrology.
The internist has studied all these specialties, so the internist can diagnose all internal diseases, he has a general view, he tries to collect the symptoms and relate them to each other, and he aims, in the end, to reach the main cause behind these symptoms to give the appropriate treatment for this case.
With the progress of medicine and the existence of great developments in its fields, the requirement to develop sub-specialties of internal medicine to keep up with the enormous and continuous scientific discoveries appeared. Therefore, it became necessary for the doctor to specialize in one of the branches of internal medicine. It became a chance for the doctor to learn and discover more about the field in which he specializes. Here, multiple specialties appeared, including the specialization of Gastroenterology.
A gastroenterologist is a doctor responsible for diagnosing and treating disorders related to the digestive system only, such as diseases of the stomach, intestines, and esophagus, and he also treats problems of the gallbladder and pancreas. The gastroenterologist can perform gastroscopy and colonoscopy, treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, and indigestion, and treat constipation
A gastrointestinal surgeon differs from a gastroenterologist.
A gastrointestinal surgeon is a doctor who specializes in the surgical treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, such as removing a tumor (benign or malignant) or a damaged part of the gastrointestinal system such as the intestine. He also reforms other medical problems such as hernias. The gastrointestinal surgeon also treats inflammatory bowel disease, peptic ulcers, and appendicitis.
It is always recommended to consult an internist or a gastroenterologist if you feel any disturbances. It is better to have your treatment done by a well-experienced doctor.