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If you’re an adult who needs medical care, there are two types of primary care physicians available: family doctors and internal medicine physicians. Each physician type provides specific medical care for the benefit of your lifelong health; we’ll explain the differences between them to help you make an informed decision.

What Is an Internal Medicine Doctor?

This type of general medicine practice is concerned with internal disease, its prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

An internal medicine doctor, or internist, is a professional who offers a compassionate and personalized approach to medicine, but who also analyzes and examines laboratory science. Using this combination of approaches, they are able to treat both complex and common illnesses, as well as chronic illnesses.

The internal medicine specialist possesses more intricate knowledge regarding how the body’s systems work in concert, and uses that knowledge in their diagnoses and treatments.

Integrative Physicians vs. Traditional Western Doctors

Both integrative physicians and traditional Western doctors are considered to be primary care physicians.

Traditional Western Doctors - Training and Specialties

The traditional Western doctor or general practitioner, considers external physical symptoms to diagnose and treat illness. They must receive training in internal medicine to diagnose and treat medical issues like heart disease at their early stages.

A traditional Western doctor may prescribe pharmaceutical products to address symptoms, and may also refer patients to a specialist for further treatment.

These doctors must attend medical school . Then the general internist must participate in a 3 year residency program in order to gain the knowledge and experience required for effective diagnosis, disease prevention, and treatment.

Integrative Physicians - Training and Specialties

The integrative physician uses both alternative therapies and evidence-based Western medicine to treat patients. The integrative physician considers external physical symptoms with a focus on inner imbalances which can cause medical problems.

In order to begin caring for patients, the integrative physician must first obtain a medical degree to become a physician, with 4 years of medical school. Then, they must begin their internship and residency for a minimum of 3 years in Internal medicine or other specialty. The key difference with a traditional western Doctor is the additional training and study in Integrative Medicine which starts in residency and continues after residency training is completed.

Why Choose Unison Medicine?

Located in Sherman Oaks, California, Unison Medicine is dedicated to offering the most value to your health via multiple treatment options. The best way to accomplish this goal is to provide both traditional western medicine and evidence based Alternative Treatments.

Unison Medicine patients enjoy relief from their symptoms using innovative methods, and benefit from alternative care, which addresses root causes and supports the body’s ability to heal. Dr. Jacobs and his team take the time to listen to patients’ questions and concerns, considering all aspects of the whole person (a biopsychosocial method) to properly diagnose and come up with the best plan of care for each individual patient.

Dr. Shahram Jacobs works with you to create a personalized blend of traditional and alternative therapies. In addition to the latest in pharmaceutical treatments, your diet, exercise level and overall lifestyle and habits will be carefully evaluated and optimized, allowing you to achieve health transformation that will wholly improve your life and prevent further development of disease.

Why Choose Unison Medicine?

Q: What kinds of illness can be treated at Unison?

A: Unison Medicine’s internal medicine treatment areas include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, IBS, asthma/COPD, thyroid disease and skin issues, as well as many other common medical problems.

Q: What areas are internists trained in?

A: In addition to general internal medicine training, many internists have a subspecialty, such as:

  • Rheumatology

  • Infectious diseases

  • Endocrinology

  • Sleep medicine

  • Cardiology

  • Pulmonary medicine 

  • Geriatrics 

Q: Who can benefit most from diagnosis and treatment from an internal medicine doctor?

A: Adults that are 18 years of age and older are the group of people that internists specialise in treating. Therefore, this group stands to receive the most benefit in terms of diagnosis and treatment.

Q: What is integrative medicine?

A: “Integrative medicine” is a term used to describe a medical approach that combines the best of Western medicine and alternative therapies and focuses on the “whole” person, considering lifestyle, circumstances and habits, rather than treating individual symptoms.

Q: What does it mean to take a holistic approach to medicine?

A: A holistic approach to medicine involves treating the whole person as an individual whose symptoms are intricately related to all aspects of their life. This is in contrast to a one-size-fits-all approach to health care where little thought is given to anything other than the specific symptom or disease. This approach requires time spent listening to patients and asking the right questions in order to determine the root cause of the problem and devise an effective therapeutic plan.

Q: Will I have to travel to another facility for lab work?

A: No; Unison Medicine offers an on-site laboratory.

Q: What are some of  Dr. Jacobs’s credentials?

A: Dr. Jacobs is a graduate of UCLA and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He has received Board Certification in both internal medicine and integrative medicine.

Q: How long will I have to wait for test results?

A: We offer rapid results for certain tests and others usually within a few days depending on the specific test.

Q: Do you offer other diagnostic services at your location?

A: Yes; Unison has a computerized EKG machine, Holter monitoring equipment, and ultrasound machine so you can complete most routine testing onsite.

Q: What if I need other diagnostic tests that Unison doesn’t offer?

A: If you require an unavailable diagnostic test, we provide local access to mammograms, pharmacies, CT scans and much more in the Sherman Oaks area and greater Los Angeles.

Q: Do I have to call you to schedule a consultation with an internist doctor near me?

A: No; you can visit our website to schedule your consultation with Dr. Jacobs online.

Please do a test run to make sure this works!!!

Q: I’m looking for an internist near me. Where are you located?

A: Unison Medicine is conveniently located at 4955 Van Nuys Blvd, Suite 200 in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Unison Medicine patients not only enjoy better treatment outcomes from Dr. Jacobs’s blended approach, but also optimal wellness and restored balance as a result of the highly effective and personalized care they receive.

Whether you’re healthy and want to maintain your health, have a new onset of unknown symptoms, or have been dealing with a chronic medical condition that has not responded to treatment, you’ll be happy to know that there’s an internal medicine doctor near you at Unison Medicine.


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Interested in participating in Clinical Trials? At Unison Medicine, we are constantly launching exciting clinical trials that are designed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of new treatment approaches and drugs for conditions such as psoriasis, kidney disease, foot fungus, Tinea Pedis, Atopic Dermatitis, Acne, Psoriasis, Rosacea & IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

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