Critical care medicine is a specialty that provides care for seriously ill patients or survivors of life-threatening or surgical conditions..
Critical care medicine is a specialty that provides care for seriously ill patients or survivors of life-threatening or surgical conditions. It includes providing round-the-clock care, life support, monitoring techniques, resuscitation, and end-of-life care. The course, Doctor of Medicine in critical care medicine is a relatively new multi-disciplinary specialization that requires a holistic approach and multi-faceted training in emergency medicine, life support, multi-system failures, monitoring, communication, and ethics. Such trained specialists would be responsible for providing life support therapies to any critically ill patient in the hospital or region of work. This area of medicine has become important in the past few years with the advent of COVID-19, and much research is being conducted in the field to contain mortality rates. The field is also in the midst of research and debates revolving around the ethics of euthanasia. Study into the long-term safety and efficacy of Onasemnogene Abeparvovec in infants with spinal muscular atrophy type 1, the importance of Delirium and Delirium Prevention in older adults during lockdowns, respiratory support in patients with COVID-19, recognition of ventilator-induced lung injury, and so on are some of the notable research going on in the area. Students can find ample opportunities to research areas such as nutrition, equipment and monitoring, Tracheostomy, delirium in ICU, sedation in ICU, perioperative critical care, tropical infections, airway management, and so on.
DM in emergency medicine aims to produce a postgraduate student competent to carry out diagnosis and treatment of patients with acute, serious, and life-threatening medical and surgical diseases. They should be able to supervise paramedical staff and be able to work as a team member. The curriculum of the course deals with the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains. The course content under the cognitive domain includes resuscitation and initial management, diagnosis, disease management, therapeutic interventions, perioperative care, pediatric care, monitoring and data interpretation, physics in medicine, research methods, clinical management, among others. The syllabus under the psychomotor domain includes physiology & bio-chemistry, oxygen therapy, cardiovascular systems, arterial catheterization, defibrillation, cardiac pacing, lumbar puncture, fundamentals of upper GI endoscopy, urinary catheterization, and so on. The affective domain includes comfort, pain relief & recovery, end-of-life care, patient safety & health system management, and professionalism. Training is skill-oriented, self-directed, and emanating from clinical and academic work. Class sessions are merely meant to supplement this effort. Candidates are required to carry out a research project that is expected to be completed within a stipulated time frame. After the completion of the course, the candidates will acquire the skills to assess, diagnose & manage critically ill patients with single or multiple organ failure, monitor and interpret data and perform necessary therapeutic interventions. The candidates would also be trained for patient safety, pain relief, and end-of-life care. They will be imparted knowledge of ethical practice, team effort, professionalism, and good communication skills, and the importance of compassion.
The course is three years or more in duration. Postgraduates possessing MD in anesthesiology or internal medicine or respiratory medicine from an institution recognized by the Medical Council of India (MCI) are eligible to apply for the course. Doctors trained in critical care medicine would have wide avenues in the future as evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. They can further their careers in emergency medicine or as lecturers after clearing UGC-NET. Training in critical care medicine gives great employment opportunities in emergency fields, medico-legal fields, disaster-prone areas, and advanced therapeutic technology development.