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Critical Care Medicine (Arizona)


The Critical Care Service (CCS) includes a core of physicians who care for critically ill patients in the medical and surgical intensive care units. The CCS consists of a staff consultant, senior residents or fellows, and junior residents. The group is assisted by critical care nurses, dietitians, respiratory therapists, physical therapists and pharmacists. Daily activities include morning and afternoon rounds, didactic lectures and tutorials, and bedside clinical teaching. The staff consultants come from the disciplines of anesthesiology, internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, and general surgery.

Specific goals

  1. Learn about the diagnosis and management of acute organ failure, with particular emphasis on the cardiorespiratory system.
  2. Gain experience dealing with a wide variety of acute emergencies and all aspects of respiratory care, including principles of ventilator management and airway management issues.
  3. Become familiar with interpreting hemodynamic data, caring for postoperative surgical patients and managing critically ill medical patients.
  4. Become familiar with the initial management of various forms of shock.
  5. Become familiar with acid-base, fluids, electrolytes, and resuscitation end-points.
  6. Become familiar with sedation and analgesia in the ICU.

Activity outline

While on the Critical Care Service, students are expected to take part in all activities of the service, including patient admission and workup, on-call duties as outlined in the Guidelines for Medical Student Clerks Assigned to Internal Medicine Hospital Services, presentation of tutorials, and attendance at formal conferences.

Didactic participation includes:

  • Didactic presentation includes core curriculum conference four days weekly.
  • Didactic sessions with critical care consultants and fellows following work rounds.
  • Surgical Grand Rounds—Monday.
  • Internal Medicine Grand Rounds—Friday.

Suggested reading list includes:

  • Critical Care Medicine—The Essentials, Marini and Wheeler.
  • Critical Care Medicine: Perioperative Management, Murray, Coursin, Pearl, and Prough.
  • Critical Care, Civetta, Taylor, and Kirby.
  • The ICU Book, Marino.

Method of evaluation

At the end of the elective, the consultants and senior residents who work with students complete individual performance evaluations. This information is given to the program coordinator who writes letters summarizing student performance. The program coordinator discusses these evaluations with the students.