Critical Care Medicine Doctor

What is a Critical Care Medicine Doctor?

A critical care medicine doctor (sometimes called an “intensivist”) is a type of specialist with specific expertise in the diagnosis, treatment, and support of critically ill and injured patients, such as trauma victims and patients with multiple organ dysfunction.
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What is a Critical Care Medicine Doctor?

A critical care medicine doctor (sometimes called an “intensivist”) is a type of specialist with specific expertise in the diagnosis, treatment, and support of critically ill and injured patients, such as trauma victims and patients with multiple organ dysfunction.

Many critical care medicine professionals work in the intensive care unit (ICU). While nearly all ICUs are capable of providing a spectrum of care, many have developed a focused area of excellence: care of premature or critically ill newborns in the neonatal ICU (NICU); care of critically ill and injured children in the pediatric ICU (PICU); care of adult cardiac diseases in the coronary care unit (CCU); perioperative care, trauma care and care of multiple organ dysfunction in the surgical ICU (SICU); and care of neurological and neurosurgical patients in the neuroscience ICU (neuro ICU).

Critical care medicine offers physicians the opportunity to work on a team with other critical care professionals who have diverse backgrounds and take different paths to become part of the team, including: nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists (RTs).

A critical care medicine doctor is also well-versed in the technological procedures and devices used in intensive care settings, as well as issues such as end-of-life decisions, advance directives, estimating prognosis, and counseling of patients and their families.



Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine

Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) is a novel subspecialty that treats critically ill or injured patients outside of a hospital setting, such as at the scene of an accident or during an emergency transfer to or between hospitals. In a specific way, doctors of this specialty deal with hazards at accident sites, environmental obstacles, resource limitations, a variety of caseloads, and solitary working circumstances.

During the initial phase of higher specialist training, there is a competitive application process for admission to the PHEM training program. There is no prolongation of the overall training term and subspecialty training occurs within the year of specific skills.

Pediatric Intensive Care Medicine

Medical professionals that specialize in pediatric intensive care medicine (PICM) perform resuscitation, stabilization, treatment, and transfer of very seriously ill or injured children in emergency, transfer, and intensive care settings. Similar to PHEM training, PICM training also begins during the special skills year and does not result in an extension of the overall training duration.

Centers & Institutes

Healthcare Delivery by Critical Care Medicine Doctors in the US

The diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of clinical issues that reflect the utmost in human disease are included in the field of critical care medicine. Critically sick patients require extensive treatment by a coordinated team. The intensivist, often known as a critical care specialist, may serve as a consultant or as the main caregiver. The intensivist must be informed about both the technological processes and tools utilized in intensive care settings as well as the different conditions that frequently impact critically sick patients. Intensivists must be skilled in areas including end-of-life decisions, advance directives, assessing prognosis, and counseling of patients and their families. The care of critically sick patients also presents numerous complex ethical and societal issues.

The majority of critical care medicine specialists practice in hospital settings, frequently in intensive care units. Since pulmonologists typically supervise the care of patients in intensive care units, critical care medicine training in internal medicine is most usually combined with a pulmonary medicine fellowship. However, in order to make their work with seriously ill patients easier, other internal medicine doctors, such as cardiologists and general internists who practice hospital medicine, might look into critical care medicine training.

The use of a multidisciplinary approach entails close collaboration with specialists in various fields of medicine and surgery, as well as critical care nurses, advanced critical care practitioners, pharmacists, diagnostic laboratory professionals, and pharmacists. ICM doctors need to be able to communicate well, work under pressure, and think creatively.

In 2017, there were 42% more female doctors working in ICM. The majority of ICM physicians hold dual accreditation and practice both ICM and a partnering specialty, such as anesthesia, emergency care, or respiratory medicine.

According to each person's preference or service interests, a certain amount of time is spent on each specialization. Future changes in the delivery of health services, such as the centralization of specialized surgery, trauma, and emergency care, are likely to alter the role of ICM doctors.

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The material presented above is only meant to be informative and is not intended to take the place of advice from your doctor or another health care practitioner. We advise you to talk to your provider about any questions or issues you may have.

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