Critical care medicine, also known as intensive care medicine is a study of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening conditions. These conditions require intensive life support and monitoring. Patients that require constant attention from an Intensivist usually suffer from cardiovascular instability (hypertension/hypotension), cardiac arrhythmias, airway or respiratory compromises such as ventilator support, acute renal failure, or multiple organ failure; also known as multiple organ dysfunction syndromes. Patients are also transferred to intensive care units (monitored by Intensivists) after critical surgery when deemed too unstable to transfer to a less monitored unit.
Intensivist is a medical specialist trained and deemed to be proficient in the comprehensive clinical management of critically ill patients. an Intensivist has intensive care skills that include the ability to recognize and manage severe medical disturbances like surgical, obstetric, and pediatric illness. He/she is also responsible to diagnose and treat the conditions that caused them. This usually involves invasive and non-invasive diagnostic techniques, monitoring, and treatment modalities designed to support vital organs of the patient.
Intensivists provide a full range of specialty-specific services, including crisis management, after-care of high-risk surgical patients, advanced cardiovascular monitoring, mechanical circulatory support, and tracheostomies. They treat people experiencing extreme conditions including multiorgan failure, sepsis, respiratory failure, central nervous system breakdown, and cardiac failure.
To become an Intensivist, a doctor must undergo five & a half years of training in M.B.B.S. from medical college. After graduation, they have to take a post-graduation course in internal medicine, respiratory medicine, or anesthesiology for three years, which is followed by either a super specialization degree in critical care medicine or a fellowship course in critical care medicine.