What Is Internal Medicine?

Abhishek Kapila

When physicians graduate from medical school, they can choose to go directly into practice or continue their medical education to become certified specialists in one of many fields. Internal medicine, one such field, is a specialty that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses in adults. Physicians who undergo such specialization are often referred to as internists.

To become an internist, physicians must complete their residency in general internal medicine. If they choose, they then can pursue an internal medicine subspecialization.

Internists address a wide variety of diseases ranging in complexity and severity. Internists who practice in a hospital setting are called hospitalists.

About the Author:

Abhishek Kapila
Abhishek Kapila MD

A specialist in internal medicine, Dr. Abhishek Kapila treats patients through EmCare in Frankfort, Kentucky. Dr. Abhishek Kapila completed his residency in internal medicine at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University.

The Role of a Hospitalist

Abhishek Kapila blog post

A relatively new field of medicine, hospital medicine is a specialty focused on hospitalized patients and their care. Practitioners, referred to as hospitalists, can include physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners trained in internal medicine, who are involved in clinical care, research, and teaching.

Typical responsibilities for hospitalists include coordinating the patient’s admission process, discharge, and follow-up appointments, providing care during the patient’s hospital stay, managing consultations and specialists, and ordering tests. Additionally, hospitalists also work to improve the overall performance of the hospital by employing process improvement tools and techniques, collaborating with all health care personnel involved in the care of the patient, and by using hospital resources efficiently.

About the Author:

Abhishek Kapila
Dr. Abhishek Kapila

A native of India, Dr. Abhishek Kapila, completed his medical residency at the East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine. Licensed to practice medicine in Kentucky and Virginia, Dr. Abhishek Kapila currently serves as a hospitalist at the Frankfort Regional Medical Center Hospital, in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Emerging Trends in Patient Care and Hospital Performance

Abhishek Kapila

Emerging trends in the medical field in 2017 include an increase in the demand for telehealth services such as secure email, video, and patient portals that allow electronic contact between a doctor and patient, as well as technologies that provide cost information directly to the consumer. This trend is associated with the projected increases in deductibles and mirrors the way consumers comparison shop for any product or service.

Industry experts have also identified improvements in electronic hospital record (EHR) software and an increased use of big data as expected trends in 2017 as EHR vendor’s struggle to meet mandated technology requirements and decision-makers feel more pressure in regards to payment models, lower costs, and consumer engagement.

About the Author:

Abhishek Kapila
Abhishek Kapila and wife

Recognized for excellence in teaching medical students, Dr. Abhishek Kapila completed his medical residency at the East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine. Serving as a hospitalist Dr. Abhishek Kapila is dedicated to integrating technologies into hospital processes and practices that will enhance patient care and the hospital’s overall performance.

Tips for Visiting a Patient in the Hospital

Many people want to visit the hospital when a friend or family member requires inpatient care, but some find that it is difficult to know what to do or say. Visitors may worry about getting in the way, upsetting the patient, or even creating an awkward social situation.

It is true that a visit may be ill-timed if there are problems in the relationship, or if seeing a particular visitor may cause the patient stress. If the relationship is a good one, and if the visitor is able to show love and good cheer, the patient may pick up on these feelings and begin to reciprocate.

This effect works best when the patient wants a visit, so any potential well-wishers should check first. Ideally, a visitor will talk with the patient or a family member about the best time to arrive and then call just before leaving to confirm. Once there, the visitor should remain aware of the patient’s energy level and stay no more than 20 minutes, or leave when the patient appears to be getting tired.

All visitors should wash or sanitize their hands and should avoid wearing perfume or scents, as these can irritate some people. A gift is a nice idea, but it should be something that is entertaining or useful, such as crossword puzzles or warm socks. Flowers are cheery at first but do not stay that way.

Finally, visitors must remember that they are there to provide companionship. Companionable silence can be very comforting, particularly if it communicates to the patient that he or she does not need to entertain the visitor. Visitors can offer light conversation and share relevant news, but listening is often the most important thing that the visitor can do.

About the Author:

Abhishek Kapila MD

Dr. Abhishek Kapila has served as a hospitalist at several Kentucky medical centers. Now a hospitalist with EmCare in Frankfort, Dr. Abhishek Kapila oversees the treatment of patients admitted to the hospital.

Endotracheal Intubation – Indication and Procedure

Abhishek Kapila
Doctor Abhishek Kapila

As a hospitalist with EmCare in Frankfort, Kentucky, Dr. Abhishek Kapila draws on a strong working knowledge of care coordination and clinical procedures. Dr. Abhishek Kapila has performed a number of intubations since beginning his medical career.

Responsible for transporting air into the lungs, the trachea runs from the larynx to the bronchi. It is approximately 1 inch wide and 4 inches long and consists of muscle, connective tissue, and cartilage. A healthy trachea is able to expand to let air in and collapse as the breath exits the body, but it can become blocked or otherwise incapacitated, due to injury or disease.

If the trachea is not working properly and a medical team needs to artificially promote breathing, a physician may perform an endotracheal intubation. This most often takes place when the patient is under anesthesia, though in emergency situations the patient may be unconscious as a result of his or her injuries.

The procedure begins with the physician inserting a laryngoscope into the patient’s mouth. This instrument helps the doctor to visualize the upper trachea, while also holding the tongue out of the way. The physician may also apply pressure to the thyroid, so that the path for the tracheal tube becomes easier to view.

The doctor then inserts a flexible plastic tube and passes it through the vocal cords of the larynx. This tube can connect to either a breathing machine or to a bag, which can help doctors to determine the correct placement of the tube. Intubation remains in place only until the patient can breathe for him- or herself, at which point a member of the care team will remove the tube.