Cardiology and the critical care crisis: a perspective.
With an aging U.S. population and a declining physician supply, the care of critically ill patients will soon be reaching a level of crisis. At the same time, the evidence continues to mount in support of intensivist staffing to improve both patient outcomes and resource utilization in intensive care units (ICUs). Whereas the vast majority of medical and surgical ICUs are staffed by physicians trained in critical care medicine, that is not commonly the case in coronary care units (CCUs) in this country. Despite that, the breadth and diversity of comorbidities in patients that occupy our CCU beds is continuously growing. No longer is the CCU merely an observation unit for peri-infarction complications, but rather it has truly become an ICU for patients with cardiovascular disease. With this in mind, there becomes a growing need for intensivist-trained cardiologists and a push for the development of critical care training pathways in our cardiovascular fellowship programs.
Katz, JN; Turer, AT; Becker, RC
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