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ICU physicians with special training offer no benefit to patients, study says

HCHumor, June 19, 2008

General trends in healthcare and privileging have moved toward specialty-trained practitioners. However, a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found no benefit for ICU patients treated by specialists trained in critical care compared to those treated by non-specialist trained practitioners, according to a June 3 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article. “Despite adjustment for severity of illness, we cannot demonstrate any survival benefit with management by critical care physicians,” the researchers wrote. “In fact, patients managed by critical care physicians had higher odds of mortality than patients managed by physicians not trained in critical care medicine.”

The researchers also acknowledged the uniqueness of their findings. “Our results are surprisingly and completely contrary to previously published findings,” the authors wrote, referencing evidence that specialty-trained care providers provide superior care.