Sleep Medicine

Although this section of IMpact explores the subspecialty and combined training careers on internal medicine, it's worth emphasizing what makes internal medicine unique. Internal medicine physicians see things differently. Holistically. And in a unique way that allows them to analyze, lead, and humanize health care in a variety of different settings and roles. See all the career opportunities internal medicine can provide.

Sleep Medicine

The Discipline

Physicians trained in Sleep Medicine focus on the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disturbances and disorders. Examples of conditions seen by sleep medicine physicians include sleep apnea (obstructive and central), insomnia, narcolepsy, somnambulism (sleep walking), and circadian sleep disorders.

Physicians trained in sleep medicine come from different clinical backgrounds and may practice in a variety of settings. Many internal medicine sleep medicine physicians are trained in pulmonary medicine and may work in dedicated sleep centers. Others may be general internists who develop an interest in sleep medicine and incorporate this training into a primary care practice. Sleep medicine physicians frequently provide consultative services to other physicians and to sleep laboratories.


Sleep Medicine fellowship training involves one year of additional clinical training after completion of the internal medicine residency.

Sleep Medicine board certification is jointly administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of Otolaryngology, American Board of Pediatrics, and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Training Positions

In the 2022-2023 academic year, there were 94 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited training programs in sleep medicine (multidisciplinary) with 220 trainees.

Major Professional Society

  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine

See all the career pathways open to internal medicine physicians.

Back to the February 2023 issue of ACP IMpact