Nature of the work
This specialty deals with infectious diseases,
which are caused by microscopic forms of life such as bacteria,
viruses, protozoa and fungi. As global travel becomes ever more
common, infectious disease specialists deal increasingly with
infections requiring unusual and unique knowledge to diagnose and
Working in infectious diseases
Infectious disease specialists work primarily
in hospitals, and bring expertise about the causes and management
of infection to the bedside. The specialist management of infection
and sepsis has gained a high profile in the last decade due to, but
not limited to, the following clinical issues:
- Infectious diseases have grown more severe over the last two
decades and particularly so in more frail populations of
- Resistance to infectious disease antibiotics has
- New infections, such as MRSA, clostridium difficile and
norovirus, are challenging current healthcare provision.
- Blood-borne virus infections, such as hepatitis B and C and
HIV, have become more prominent.
- International travel continues to grow in popularity,
heightening the need for expertise in the prevention and treatment
of travel-related ‘international’ disease.
Common procedures / interventions
Common clinical diagnostic procedures in this
- Lumbar puncture.
- Insertion of a long line.
Associated sub specialties
Infectious diseases is a broad and varied
specialty, encompassing a range of disciplines from acute medicine,
to epidemiology and molecular medicine. This specialty also has
close links with infection-related disciplines such as:
- Medical microbiology.
- Genitourinary medicine.
- Public health.
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