Critical Care Medicine and Infectious Diseases: An Emerging Combined Subspecialty in the United States

Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Aug 15;61(4):609-14. doi: 10.1093/cid/civ360. Epub 2015 May 5.


The recent rise in unfilled training positions among infectious diseases (ID) fellowship programs nationwide indicates that ID is declining as a career choice among internal medicine residency graduates. Supplementing ID training with training in critical care medicine (CCM) might be a way to regenerate interest in the specialty. Hands-on patient care and higher salaries are obvious attractions. High infection prevalence and antibiotic resistance in intensive care units, expanding immunosuppressed host populations, and public health crises such as the recent Ebola outbreak underscore the potential synergy of CCM-ID training. Most intensivists receive training in pulmonary medicine and only 1% of current board-certified intensivists are trained in ID. While still small, this cohort of CCM-ID certified physicians has continued to rise over the last 2 decades. ID and CCM program leadership nationwide must recognize these trends and the merits of the CCM-ID combination to facilitate creation of formal dual-training opportunities.

Keywords: critical care; fellowship; infectious disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Communicable Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Education, Medical / trends
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Medicine / education
  • Infectious Disease Medicine / methods*
  • Medicine / methods*
  • United States