Subspecialty Careers: Infectious Disease
From the Latin word inficere, "to dye or stain" but also "to corrupt or spoil." The ancients conceived that disease could result from the entrance of invisible agents into the body, a sort of "tainting."
Infectious disease medicine requires an understanding of the microbiology, prevention, and management of disorders caused by viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections. This understanding includes the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents, vaccines, and other immunobiological agents. Important content includes the environmental, occupational, and host factors that predispose to infection, as well as the basic principles of epidemiology and transmission of infection.
Important procedural skills include the proper collection of culture specimens, Gram and other staining techniques. The specialist in infectious disease is an expert in ordering and interpreting antibiotic sensitivity tests and serum levels, CD4 counts, ELISA, polymerase chain reaction, immunoblotting studies, and serology for infections.
Infectious disease fellowship training requires two years of accredited training beyond general internal medicine residency. During the two years, a minimum of 12 months must include clinical training in the diagnosis and management of a broad spectrum of medical diseases.
The American Board of Internal Medicine offers certification in infectious disease.
For the 2011-2012 academic year, there were 144 ACGME-accredited training programs in Infectious Disease with 746 active positions.
Major Professional Society
Benefits of ACP Membership for Students: ACP's free Medical Student Membership includes benefits designed especially to meet students' needs.
Find a Residency
Search ACP's Internal Medicine Residency Database for information on all internal medicine residency programs in the U.S. and Canada. (ACP Members only)
New Leadership Webinars
The ACP Leadership Academy is offering FREE webinars covering the core tenets of leadership, leadership in hospital medicine, finance, and more.
Join ACP Today!
ACP membership connects you with like-minded colleagues and provides access to a variety of clinical resources, practice tools, and ways to earn MOC and CME.