Internal medicine is a most fascinating medical discipline as it encompasses both the diagnostic work of a medical detective, and the interventional work of an engineer, as we try to rebuild our patients’ health. These challenging and diverse skill-sets are crucial to the success of all internists, yet what drives these skills is just as important. Our department is founded on the twin principles of caring and investigation. These principles not only define who we are as a group, they also drive what we do. We strive to care for not only our patients, but each other as well.
It is these two principles that all 322 clinical faculty in the Department want to convey first and foremost. We also teach trainees to identify the patients’ problems, develop a differential diagnosis, define that diagnosis in an investigative manner, and then plan for treatment, in an investigative manner. We teach our residents to become even more sensitive and responsive to the needs of patients, which must come first before all other endeavors. This is foundational to our culture of caring. By virtue of becoming physicians, we have made a promise to our patients that we will always care for them, with our hearts as well as our minds.
Consistent with our culture of caring for each other is the goal of developing personal relationships within the divisions and department. Each of the 14 subspecialty Divisions in the Department of Medicine strives to become a tight-knit team working towards mutually agreed upon goals, and the Department is a resource to help them reach that goal. In addition, we seek to make every other Department in UF’s College of Medicine better as well, to create shared opportunities for growth. Finally, our Department has a remarkable relationship with Shands HealthCare and the Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center. Our relationship with them is very important to us, and they represent a wonderful patient care, educational, and investigative resource. The basis for this relationship is our shared culture of investigation and caring, both for the ill and for each other. This shared culture has resulted in 7 clinical programs being ranked in the top-50 by U.S. News & World Report in 2020 including Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Geriatrics, Hematology/Oncology, Nephrology, and Pulmonary/Critical Care.
The “reason for being” for our department is the same as it has been since its founding more than half a century ago, and it remains one of the most noble of all endeavors, which is to systematically relieve human suffering. That is never far from the minds of all the members of our department, as it enables us to work through adversity, and provides us direction in the most complex of circumstances.
Jamie B. Conti, MD, FACC
Chair, Department of Medicine
Professor of Medicine, University of Florida
AHA Eminent Scholar in Cardiology