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Subspecialty Careers: 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.

Training Positions

In the 2016-2017 academic year, there are 83 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited training programs in sleep medicine with 170 trainees

Board Certification

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.

Major Professional Societies

  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Back to March 2017 Issue of IMpact