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.
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.