Critical Care

What is a critical care medicine specialist (intensivist)?

A Answers (2)

  • AHealthwise answered

    Critical care medicine specialists (also called intensivists) are medical doctors who specialize in the care of people who are in an intensive care unit (ICU).

    In some areas, when a person is very ill and has to spend time in an ICU, he or she is cared for by a critical care medicine specialist. After the person is transferred out of the ICU to a regular hospital unit, another doctor or health professional assumes care.

    Most critical care specialists are pulmonologists (specializing in lung disease), cardiologists (specializing in heart disease), or neurologists (specializing in brain and nerve diseases). Critical care specialists may also first specialize in another area of medicine (such as anesthesiology, internal medicine, or pediatrics) and then hold a subspecialist certificate in critical care medicine.

    Critical care medicine specialists can be board-certified through one of the Boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (such as the American Board of Internal Medicine).

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  • AJoane Goodroe, Nursing, answered

    An intensivist is another name for a physician with special training who takes care of intensive care patients. Many physicians work in specialized areas like a cardiologist for heart disease or nephrologist for kidney disease. Taking care of very sick patients in the intensive care has become a special area also. Some physicians now train to become intensivists. Other physicians add this to their specialty. For example, some intensivists are pulmonologists, anesthesiologists, nephrologists or cardiologists.

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