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SJHH / Health Services/ Medicine Services/ General Internal Medicine

General Internal Medicine

What this program does...

The General Internal Medicine Unit is a highly rated clinical teaching unit focusing on acute medical care and geriatric assessment. Program services include those provided by general internal medicine (GIM), the geriatric assessment team (GAT) and the palliative care team (PCT). The program provides primary, secondary, and tertiary care to a diverse patient mix embracing all age categories, socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities and educational levels.

The patient population served by the general internal medicine program team includes patients with undifferentiated medical illnesses, multiple co-morbidities requiring expertise outside the scope of a single primary care physician, specialist or sub-specialist. Special needs of the frail elderly are addressed as well as needs for medical consultation/management during a surgical admission, acute medical illness that warrant admission, investigation and urgent intervention, palliation and those with complex individualized discharge planning requirements.

How this program helps...

Each program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton has its own focus and an expert healthcare team. You may stay on the same unit while you are here or need to move to other parts of the hospital for care.

Patients often have complex medical conditions and need an extensive level of care while their needs are being assessed and treated. Patients who become medically stable while they are here may go directly home or may move to another area of the hospital to get stronger before they are discharged. We also offer outpatient programs to provide additional support in the community.

Your Care Team

Members of your healthcare team include:

  • Attending Physician
  • Medical Residents & Students
  • Physician Assistants
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Personal Support Workers and Healthcare Assistants
  • Allied Health Team, including: Dietitians, Occupational Therapists, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Recreation Therapists, Registered Respiratory Therapists, Social Workers, Speech Language Pathologists and Spiritual Care staff

The Care Team will help you:

  • Set goals around your healthcare needs
  • Make decisions about your health
  • Guide and help you with daily treatments
  • Develop a discharge plan

Your Care Team meets to talk about:

  • Your diagnosis and treatment
  • Your progress
  • What you need to learn to manage your illness and recovery
  • Your plan for discharge

Referral Process

Most patients who are part of the General Internal Medicine program have presented to the Emergency Department and are referred by the Emergency Department Physician.

Family Physicians may also occasionally refer a patient directly to the program.

Preparing for Your Visit

When coming to the hospital, please bring the following:

  1. Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) card
  2. All medications you normally take during the day

We ask that you do not bring any valuables with you as the hospital cannot be responsible for lost or stolen personal items. 


The General Internal Medicine Program is offered in several areas of the SJHH Charlton Campus including:

CTU 4BD (4th Floor Bishop Dowling Building)

CTU 4MG (4th Floor Mary Grace Building)

CTU 5MG (5th Floor Mary Grace Building)

Post-Acute Care:

ALC 6 Tower (6th Floor Juravinski Tower)

The SJHH Charlton Campus is located at:

50 Charlton Avenue East
Hamilton, Ontario
Canada L8N 4A6

905-522–1155 (automated)
905-522–4941 (switchboard)

After Your Visit

As a patient, discharge planning begins on the day you are admitted.  Members of your healthcare team begin planning the type of help you will need to be able to leave the hospital. Some of the things the team can do are:

  • Give you and your partners in care information and advice to help you manage at home
  • Arrange any equipment you need for going home
  • Arrange for support services in your community through the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) or another community agency

There are many types of support services in the community. The type of services you can use will depend on your needs. CCAC will make every effort to match your needs with the services offered where you live.

You and your partners in care will be given as much notice as possible about the exact date and time of your discharge. However, some people are discharged on the same day they are told they are leaving.

If you or your partners in care have any concerns about discharge planning, please ask to talk to a Social Worker. It is best to talk about your concerns to find solutions as soon as possible.