Infectious disease (ID) specialists are physicians with extra training in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Many infections can be treated by your primary care provider. However, your doctor may refer you to an ID specialist if the infection is accompanied by a high fever or doesn’t respond to treatment. In that way, ID specialists are like the medical detectives at Riverside Medical Clinic. They’re called in when an illness is hard to diagnose.
You may want to consult with an ID specialist if you’re planning to travel to a foreign country where the risk of infection is high. An ID specialist can suggest preventative measures and immunizations to protect travelers.
The wide use of effective antibiotics, immunization for many childhood illnesses and the eradication of some diseases such as polio may lead some to believe that infectious diseases are no longer a major public health threat. However, new diseases emerge and old diseases rebound, sometimes in drug-resistant forms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infectious diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide.
You can learn more about this specialty from the Infectious Diseases Society of America website.
After receiving a referral from your primary care physician, our ID specialists will conduct testing and professionally diagnose conditions. Your ID specialist starts with 9 to 10 years of specialized education and training, and has passed a certification exam by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine and infectious diseases.