An Infectious Diseases (ID) specialist is a doctor of medicine, who has received at least three years of training in internal medicine (adult medicine) and then at least an additional two years of training in the areas of infection. The ID physician has been trained to diagnose and treat a wide variety of infections in adults and adolescents. Most ID specialists have become master diagnosticians, searching for clues to identify the cause of complicated illnesses, and have become skillful in carefully treating patients who have become infected.
ID doctors use a variety of tools to diagnose and treat infections. The most important part is establishing trust and a rapport with the patient. Our doctors take the time to get to know a little about our patients, and to fully understand the illness and its symptoms. Our doctors take the time to examine our patients, and only order essential lab tests or x-rays. Sometimes a diagnosis can become clear after a taking a history and performing a physical examination. Other times, the lab tests yield a diagnosis. Sometimes a series of diagnostic tests are needed. ID physicians often search for the cause of infections with a culture from a body fluid such as blood, urine, or other secretions. The doctor may search for bacteria, viruses, fungi or even parasites. Other times, they look for the body’s response to infection, such as the presence of antibodies to certain germs, as clues to the presence of a recent infection. Often the results of these tests are used to determine the best treatment. After treating an individual with an infection, the ID physician often schedule a follow-up visit to ensure that the infection has responded favorably to treatment.
Dear IDP community,
It has been over a year since we began dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. As all of you know and have witnessed, we have had to change many of the ways in which we receive, treat and communicate with our patients. This has included masks, barriers, distance between patients and staff, virtual visits and other adjustments in how we care for our patients with infections. In addition, this past year has included a steep learning curve for all of us. Even as we took on more patients with COVID, and cared for our patients with other conditions, we had to keep up with the ever-changing guidance on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of new infections.
Throughout this time, however, we have stayed open for business. Even while our clinicians have had increased patient care duties at the hospital, we have tried to remain available for those who needed to see us in the office. For some of you, the virtual visits have been a blessing, requiring no travel or wait-times. For others, an in-person visit was critical and we worked very hard to be here for you.
During this time, our practice has been truly thankful for the patience and resiliency of our patients. Some of you have been coming to our office for many years, yet you rolled with the inconveniences and were wonderful with our staff. Others of you have been gracious since your first (and sometimes, only) visit. Our hats are off to all of you!
Hopefully, with the arrival of the vaccine, with community masking and with some new treatments, the epidemic seems to diminishing in our community. We are grateful for that, but do not want to let our guard down. Most of our staff has been vaccinated. We continue to emphasize the use of masks, distancing, hand hygiene and you may notice some clinical staff with eye protection. We believe it is still too early to let our guard down.
As we move into spring and warmer weather, we will continue to be vigilant for changes in the virus and the use of the best treatment options. We will continue to advocate for vaccination of our patients and for the community. Lastly, we will continue to be here for our patients! Thank you for putting your trust in us!
The physicians, clinicians and staff at IDP
Although the diagnosis and treatment of infections can be complicated and our physicians and staff are often challenged to deliver the latest and best options to our patients, IDP is committed to ensuring that our patients have a safe and comforting experience while in our care.
Our patients can expect to be treated with the highest level of respect. We will do everything in our power to ensure that each patient has the opportunity to be heard, to receive the time necessary to properly address the medical issue and the emotional or psychosocial consequences of the infection. We will always try to minimize the “hassles” associated with a medical visit, including smooth scheduling, check in, and minimize wait times where possible. We will do our best to communicate our thoughts to our patients and their loved-ones and to share our medical plans with referring and primary care physicians.
Some of our patients see us for only one or two visits. Others will be seeing us regularly for many years. All of our patients are important to us. We are committed to ensuring that each of them feels as if he or she is the reason we are here.