Intensive care medical training, whether as a primary specialty or as secondary add-on training, should include key competences to ensure a uniform standard of care, and the number of intensive care physicians needs to increase to keep pace with the growing and anticipated need. The organisation of intensive care in multiple specialty or central units is heterogeneous and evolving, but appropriate early treatment and access to a trained intensivist should be assured at all times, and intensivists should play a pivotal role in ensuring communication and high-quality care across hospital departments. Structures now exist to support clinical research in intensive care medicine, which should become part of routine patient management. However, more translational research is urgently needed to identify areas that show clinical promise and to apply research principles to the real-life clinical setting. Likewise, electronic networks can be used to share expertise and support research. Individuals, physicians and policy makers need to allow for individual choices and priorities in the management of critically ill patients while remaining within the limits of economic reality. Professional scientific societies play a pivotal role in supporting the establishment of a defined minimum level of intensive health care and in ensuring standardised levels of training and patient care by promoting interaction between physicians and policy makers. The perception of intensive care medicine among the general public could be improved by concerted efforts to increase awareness of the services provided and of the successes achieved. © 2012 Elsevier España, S.L. and SEMICYUC.
Blanch, L., Annane, D., Antonelli, M., Chiche, J. D., Cuñat, J., Girard, T. D., … Mancebo, J. (2013). The future of intensive care medicine. Medicina Intensiva, 37(2), 91–98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medin.2012.12.004