Internal Medicine

The Internal Medicine Teaching Unit is led by the Internal Medicine Department and its various care units (General Internal Medicine, Hepatology, Autoimmune System Diseases, Infectious Diseases), with participation from the Cardiology, Respiratory Medicine, Neurology, Haematology, Oncology, Intensive Care Medicine and A&E Departments.

Internal medicine is a core medical speciality that is practised primarily in hospital settings, providing comprehensive care to sick adults. It uses a medical approach in the prevention, diagnosis, therapeutic indication and follow-up of diseases in adults, including during their rehabilitation and palliative care. Internists are the backbone of the hospital, offering their versatility in acute and emergency hospitalisation; carrying out consultancy roles in primary care; and offering innovation in areas other than conventional hospitalisation and in the socio-health field. 

The teaching unit is made up of 3 different departments. These include the Internal Medicine Department, which is broken down into the Systemic Autoimmune Disease Department, the Internal Medicine - Hepatology Department and the Infectious Disease Department. The Internal Medicine department is made up of different units which independently treat patients suffering from complex pathologies (Pleural Unit, Thromboembolic Diseases Unit, Autoinflammatory Diseases Unit and the Autoimmune Diseases unit). 

In daily practice, resident medical staff visit patients together alongside specialist physicians. During these visits, medical records are drawn up and physical examinations are carried out. Visits can also entail clinical ultrasounds, diagnostic-therapeutic examinations (thoracentesis, paracentesis, arthrocentesis, liver biopsy, etc.) as well as differential diagnoses and the provision of diagnostic guidance. The pertinent examinations are requested and the treatment is duly adjusted. 

During the IMR training, internal medicine residents learn how to diagnose and manage the most commonly found diseases on hospital wards and in internal medicine consultations. They will also learn about the most commonly treated pathology in other medical fields, obtaining a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary training that will allow them, upon the completion of their residency programme, to tackle a wide range of clinical scenarios with complete independence.  

Moreover, in terms of specific areas of interest, residents will learn how to manage immunosuppressive therapies and patients suffering from cirrhosis, HIV and nosocomial infections, amongst other pathologies.  

On-duty shifts are carried out in the A&E department in combination with inpatient care, preparing the Internal Medicine resident to treat critically ill patients in a fully independent manner upon the completion of their IMR training. It should be noted that residents treat patients suffering from a broad range of medical pathologies, meaning experience is gained in the management of patients suffering from conditions such as shock, respiratory failure (intubation and mechanical ventilation) and cardiac arrest.

Healthcare, teaching (sessions) and research tasks are carried out on a daily basis in all Internal Medicine departments. The Internal Medicine IMR will be progressively incorporated into these sessions, and will also participate in the research groups of his/her interest. 

Why specialise at Vall d’Hebron?

  • Because we are a tertiary hospital with cutting-edge services. The volume of patients at the site offers great potential for teaching and acquiring experience through a multi-disciplinary comprehensive training programme. 
  • Because, unlike other sites, we offer specific training programmes: general internal medicine, autoimmune diseases, hepatology and infectious diseases. 
  • Because we cover most medical specialities, and you will have the chance to study complex pathologies and apply cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment methods.
  • Because we have a Rapid Diagnosis Unit in which you can participate, as well as a multi-purpose day hospital which is coordinated by our department. 
  • Because we perform the most cutting-edge diagnostic procedures (capillaroscopies, ultrasounds, PET/CT scans) in the Autoimmune Disease Unit; because we have more than 50 years’ experience in the treatment of patients with these kinds of complex diseases; and because we are a reference CSUR (Sites, Departments and Units of Reference) for this pathology. 
  • Because in the Hepatology Unit you will have the most modern diagnostic procedures at your disposal and you will be able to participate in the treatment of portal hypertension-related complications, liver transplants and the use of the pioneering drugs.
  • Because in the Infectious Diseases department you will have the most pioneering diagnostic procedures at your disposal, and you will also receive an introduction to imported pathologies, HIV monograph consultations, the management of diseases in organ transplant and immunosuppressed patients, etc.
  • Because in the Pleural Unit you will be taught how to carry out a clinical diagnosis while learning how to detect pleural effusion in scans (ultrasound, x-ray and PET/CT). You will also collaborate with the thoracic surgery department throughout the entire diagnostic and therapeutic process. 
  • Because you will learn how to manage venous thromboembolism, including the indication of acute and chronic invasive therapies. 
  • Because you will carry out a differential diagnosis of multiple pathologies, including constitutional syndrome, study tumours and fevers without a focus. 
  • Because you will receive training in the A&E department, carrying out on-duty shifts in the “pool” system. On-duty shifts in the A&E department and the hospitalisation ward.
  • Because the Department is made up of specific national and international reference units. 
  • Because we treat patients who have been admitted to surgical departments (Traumatology, General Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Neurosurgery) and the Obstetrics-Gynaecology Department in a collaborative manner, learning to assess pathologies related to these specialities.
  • Because we offer you the chance to participate in peer to peer education. We feel that we learn how to communicate by teaching. 
  • Because the resident collaborates in clinical studies during the final years of their specialist training. He/she will then present their results at a national congress and, if possible, publish them.
  • Because the different departments are in contact with national and international scientific reference groups, which means ample opportunities for periods abroad at the end of the residency programme.
  • Because you will participate in theoretical and practical courses with local, national and international certification.
  • Because you will present clinical sessions under the supervision of the responsible physicians. During these sessions, open cases will be reviewed and closed cases will be discussed. You will also have the chance to attend clinical-pathological and bibliographical conferences. 
  • Because you will have the chance to do rotation placements away from the site, depending on your areas of interest.
  • Because we facilitate the training and scientific methodology for the various research lines, thus helping you obtain pre-doctoral grants for your doctoral thesis.
  • Because during your residency, we offer you the chance to collaborate on tasks in some of your preferred research lines. This will allow you to focus your doctoral thesis on the topic that is of greatest interest to you.
  • Because our teaching adapts to the initiative and vocation of each resident, with options ranging from the most care-oriented to the most research-oriented programmes.

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