General Internal Medicine
General Internal Medicine (GIM) involves managing patients in emergency departments or acute medical units. General medicine also covers the management of those with long-term medical conditions.
The Royal Society of Medicine offers a range of events for different medical specialties, including General Internal Medicine – see a full list on our Events page>>
Entry Route into General Internal Medicine
Applicants must have completed the two-year Foundation Programme before they can apply for core training on one of two pathways:
These programmes comprise four to six placements in various medical specialities and include in on-call work.
Job Progression as a GIM Specialist
Higher speciality training starts at ST3 level and takes at least three years to complete. It is not possible to apply directly to ST3 level posts, instead, trainees have to apply to work in a speciality to obtain access to ST3 training in General Internal Medicine.
Trainees can apply for a dual-CCT in GIM and another speciality. At the end of training they will achieve two CCTs. Trainees can obtain a dual-CCT in Acute or General Internal Medicine, adding a year to the length of training (ST3-7).
Trainees can apply for consultant positions six months before obtaining their CCT, and there are opportunities to work in management as a clinical lead, or a clinical or medical director. There are also formal opportunities to become involved in the education and training of junior doctors by working as
- a director of medical education overseeing postgraduate medical training,
- a training programme director responsible for the education of trainee doctors in the local region, or
- an associate dean responsible for managing the training programme.
Academic General Medicine Roles
Trainees interested in an academic career can apply for an academic clinical fellowship. Alternatively, trainees can continue the ST clinical training programme after ST4 level.
Some consultants combine their clinical role with research, and it is possible to practise GIM with various specialties, including the two GIM subspecialities – stroke and metabolic medicine.
Competition for General Internal Medicine Roles
Candidates cannot apply to GIM at ST3. Nearly all General Internal Medicine training will take place in parallel with another speciality.
In December 2017, there were
- 795 consultants,
- 21 associate specialists,
- 135 speciality doctors,
- 1 staff grade,
- 1,068 speciality registrars,
- 897 core trainees,
- 760 F2 trainees, and
- 992 F1 trainees.
Salaries in General Internal Medicine
The starting salary for junior doctors in England ranges from £26,614 to £46,208, and from £37,923 to £87,521 for speciality doctors. Consultants can expect to earn between £76,761 and £103,490. There are additional supplements for on-call work, antisocial hours, and other commitments and situations. For additional information, please check our page on pay scales.
A Day in the Life of a General Medicine Specialist
Most of the work is inpatient-based – in acute medical units, inpatient wards, or medical admissions units – although there is some outpatient contact. Ward rounds involve reviewing new admissions, managing current patients and caring for those who have developed an acute medical illness during their time in hospital. There is also regular on-call work.