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Medical Specialist: Critical-care Medicine

Critical-care medicine is a subspecialty of Internal Medicine. After a doctor completes medical school and is licensed to practice medicine, the physician may pursue a rigorous three-year training program in Internal Medicine. After passing an examination and completing the requirements, the doctor is Board Certified in Internal Medicine—also called an Internist. This is different from an intern, who is a doctor who has completed medical school and is in the first year of residency training.

To become certified in the subspecialty of critical-care medicine, Board-Certified Internists must complete an additional two years of fellowship training in critical care medicine. These specialists manage the care of critically ill patients in intensive-care units. They are skilled in:

  • Airway management and endotracheal intubation
  • Ventilation management
  • Insertion and management of chest tubes
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  • Placement of arterial, central venous and pulmonary artery balloon catheter placement
  • Transvenous pacemaker insertion
  • Hemodialysis
  • Pacemaker insertion


American Board of Internal Medicine 2004-2007.

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Written by: JC Jones MA, RN
Last Updated: February 20, 2008
Published By: Healthline Networks Inc.
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