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Medical Student Electives: Intensive Care Medicine

Intensive Care Medicine

Brief Description

This elective is designed to provide the student with experience in the care of critically ill patients in the Intensive Care Unit.


The student will become familiar with the pathophysiology of critical illness develop proficiency at the systems approach to the evaluation and management of critically-ill patients become familiar with the proper utilization and interpretation of hemodynamic monitoring and with the indications for and management of a patients receiving mechanical ventilation function as an integral member of the critical care team.

Learning Experience

The student will participate in daily rounds as a member of the ICU team under direct supervision of the medical resident and attending Intensivist. Patients will include those with medical and cardiac problems. The student will be on overnight call approximately every third night, with the ICU resident.

In conjunction with rounds, there will be a daily didactic session focusing on various topics in critical care medicine.

Instruction in invasive and non-invasive ventilator management will occur on a daily basis. 
Students will be given an opportunity to develop familiarity with clinical procedures such as placement of arterial lines, central venous and pulmonary artery catheters under guidance of the attending intensivist. 
Students will be exposed to acute cardiac problems including myocardial infarction, cardiac failure, arrhythmias, and the principles of advanced cardiac life support.

Students will be encouraged to develop a systematic approach to shock, acute respiratory failure, acute multi-organ and single-system failure, and to become proficient in the analysis of arterial blood gases, electrolyte and acid-base disturbances. Clinical applications and use of enteral and parenteral nutrition will also be emphasized.

Ample handouts, references and other readings will be given, and students will be encouraged to use the library facilities to pursue more complete understanding of clinical problems. 


Feedback will be sought on a continuous basis. Some aspects of the elective can be adapted to the needs of the student.


Students will be evaluated by the medical resident and attending.


Given all year for one month, except for the months of January, June and July. Maximum number of fourth year students per month: One. A one month rotation. Housing is provided when available.


Members of the Attending Staff.