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Acute medicine refers to the immediate and early management of adults in hospital who require urgent or emergency care. Although it is closely linked to emergency medicine and critical care, it is firmly rooted in the principles of general internal medicine.
Consultants work primarily in the acute medical unit of a hospital, but may also lend support in A&E. They review patients who have been admitted, and make the decisions on their care pathway - which specialist they should be referred to, or whether they can be discharged. Conditions commonly encountered in this setting include ischaemic heart disease, venous thromboembolism, diabetic complications, cerebrovascular disease, exacerbations of chronic respiratory disease, acute infections and sepsis, complications of drug and alcohol misuse, and cardiac arrhythmias.
Acute medicine has recently been reinstated as a specialty in its own right, having previously been included as part of general internal medicine. Because consultants assess patients with a wide variety conditions, interactions with any number of other specialties are possible. Specialists also work with other medical professionals, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.
The RCP offers bursaries each year for SpR/ST3-7 trainees to attend the European School of Internal medicine run by European Federation of Internal Medicine. This takes place twice a year in two different European countries.
How to apply
Please see advertisements in the RCP press for places. Please send these to email@example.com. You can be a specialist trainee in GIM (dual accrediting) or acute medicine.
- Consultant physicians working with patients, revised fifth edition (2013)
- Chronic spinal cord injury: Management of patients in acute hospital settings (2008)
- Acute medical care: the right person, in the right setting - first time (2007)
For information about specialty training in acute medicine, please visit the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Postgraduate Training Board (JRCPTB) website.
2011 Consultant Census
The RCP has completed our census of working physicians in 2011. Attached below is a breakdown of the report with results for this specialty.
- Acute Medicine website, written and maintained by acute medicine doctors
|European School of Internal Medicine in Italy, 7–13 June 2015||17 March 2015|
|Specialty of the month – acute internal medicine||03 November 2014|
|Book your place at the annual joint update in general and acute medicine (Wales)||09 October 2014|
|European School of Internal Medicine: winter 2015||22 April 2015|
|Ambulance journeys||23 October 2014|
|Acute care toolkits: what can be achieved when the everyday tasks of doctors get the attention they deserve||18 December 2013|
|New toolkit will help doctors recognise and treat sepsis||02 September 2014|
|12 more hospital wards receive the Elder Friendly Quality Mark||17 July 2014|
|Experts develop new decision support system for lung cancer care||02 July 2014|
|GI bleeding, modern management and organisation of care for GI bleeding||03 March 2015|
|Obstetric medicine for the general physician||03 February 2015|
|Interactive cases from the AMU: diagnosis, investigation and management||02 July 2013|