Infectious Disease Specialists
Infectious Disease specialists play a vital role in hospitals, helping to direct treatment of patients who develop infections. They also monitor antibiotic use, preventing the development of drug-resistant bacteria and infections such as C. diff. They can help contain outbreaks of MRSA and other infectious diseases by identifying the source of the problem. Patients seeking the services of an infectious disease specialist should be aware of their rights and responsibilities, as well as what they can expect during a visit. In addition to diagnosing infectious diseases, infectious disease specialists also provide treatment for many other medical conditions. These specialists work with doctors from several different specialties to coordinate patient care. In some instances, these teams include cardiologists, dermatologists, gastroenterologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, and pathologists. Other members of the team may include an infectious disease pharmacist, nurse, or microbiota transplant coordinator. Infectious Disease specialists generally complete a residency in internal medicine or pediatrics and then undergo a fellowship in infectious disease. This training gives them the foundation to specialize in infectious disease and provides an environment for testing and becoming board certified. They are often highly motivated by their work. However, the educational path to becoming an infectious disease specialist is long and rigorous. Applicants are advised to start their educational training with a bachelor's degree in a science field with a lab component. They should also have some basic knowledge of the MCAT. An infectious disease specialist is a key part of any health care team. This specialization is growing in popularity due to increased awareness of the importance of preventing and treating infectious diseases. According to Dr. Schacker, infectious diseases will play a critical role in the health care system for the foreseeable future.