The practice of critical care is unique among the specialties of medicine. While other specialties seek to narrow their focus of interest to a single organ system, a particular therapy, or a particular age group, critical care is directed toward patients with a wide variety of illnesses. The variety of illnesses seen in a critically ill population necessitates a thorough knowledge of the manifestations and mechanisms of disease across all organ systems. The setting in which critical care occurs is unique in that continuous subjective and objective monitoring of liable parameters is essential to assure quality of care. The critical care physician must then integrate knowledge of physiological principles involving multiple organ systems with minute to minute monitoring of function to initiated therapies.
Within this framework, the critical care medicine fellow learns these principles in this critically ill population while following the necessary six steps required of all ACGME accredited programs:
- Patient Care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health.
- Medical Knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate (e.g. epidemiological and social-behavioral) sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care.
- Practice-Based Learning and Improvement that involves investigation and evaluation of the fellow’s own patient care, appraisal and assimilation of scientific evidence, and improvements in patient care.
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, their families, and other health professionals.
- Professionalism, as manifested through a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to a diverse patient population.
- Systems-Based Practice, as manifested by actions that demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value.
We look forward to supporting your educational development in this important specialty area of medicine.