Medeck 620: Sub-internship in Critical Care Medicine


Welcome to the home page for Medeck 620, the fourth year medical student subinternship in critical care medicine. As part of this rotation, students will work as part of the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) team at Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington Medical Center. During the rotation, you will have direct patient care responsibilities through which you will learn about various forms of critical illness, how to apply different therapeutic and diagnostic modalities commonly used in critical care medicine and develop skills that will be of use to you regardless of whether you ultimately specialize in this field or pursue work as a primary care physician in a rural area.  

Goals and Objectives For the Rotation

The primary goals of this rotation are as follows:

  • To learn how to evaluate and manage patients with different forms of critical illness including respiratory failure, hypotension, sepsis, organ failure and gastrointestinal hemorrhage
  • To learn how to initiate and manage invasive and non-invasive modes of mechanical ventilation
  • To learn how to interpret and apply the results of arterial blood gas analysis
  • To learn how to protect patients from complications associated with stays in the intensive care unit
  • To learn about the application of palliative care medicine principles in the intensive care unit setting.
  • To learn to work as part of a multidisciplinary care team

At the end of this rotation, students should be able to:

  • Evaluate and manage patients with various forms of respiratory failure including COPD and asthma exacerbations, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome and pulmonary edema
  • Evaluate and manage patients with sepsis and severe life-threatening infections
  • Evaluate and manage patients with severe organ failure including renal, hepatic and coagulation failure
  • Evaluate and manage patients with gastrointestinal hemorrhage
  • Evaluate and manage patients with severe hypotension
  • Evaluate and manage patients with severe metabolic and endocrinologic disturbances
  • Initiate appropriate empiric antibiotic coverage for patients with severe infections
  • Initiate and titrate vaso-active medications
  • Initiate, manage and discontinue both invasive and non-invasive modes of mechanical ventilation.
  • Interpret arterial blood gases and apply this information in the care of patients
  • Initiate appropriate measures to prevent complications associated with ICU care
  • Apply the principles of palliative care medicine to patients in the intensive care unit

Website Contents

This website contains a variety of learning materials designed to supplement the information to which you will be exposed during your work on the rotation. You are encouraged to explore the website and take advantage of these resources. In addition, an extensive library of reading materials covering numerous topics in critical care medicine and pulmonary medicine has been assembled and placed in e-reserves accounts which you can access with your UWNet ID. You will find these libraries to be of assistance in your efforts to gather information about the various clinical problems you are encountering in your work on this rotation and other rotations in which you encounter patients with pulmonary or critical care. 

If you have any questions or comments about the rotation, do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

Andrew M. Luks, MD
Clerkship Director

Top of Page