Critical Care Medicine
We are pleased to be one of California’s only medical groups to provide
our hospitalized patients with round-the-clock care by board-certified
intensivists. These St. Jude Heritage Medical Group physicians specialize
exclusively in caring for the most seriously ill or injured patients at
St. Jude Medical Center's Critical Care Unit (CCU) 24 hours a day,
seven days a week.
Our highly trained intensivists are experts in the needs of critically
ill patients and continuously manage the treatment and progress of those
in the CCU—creating dramatic benefits for both patients and their
family. In the past, patients would wait for their primary care physician
to visit once each day, either before or after office hours. Because our
intensivists are onsite 24/7, they round on patients as often as needed
and are available to respond immediately to changes in a patient’s
While our intensivists take the lead when you are in the Critical Care
Unit, it is a team effort with your personal physician remaining informed
and involved. This partnership offers you the best of both worlds: the
expertise of hospital-based doctors whose full-time focus is outstanding
patient outcomes and the continuity of care provided by your personal
What is an intensivist?
An intensivist, also known as a critical care physician, is a medical doctor
with special training and experience in treating critically ill patients.
After finishing a residency in internal medicine, an intensivist goes
on to complete a two- to three-year fellowship in critical care medicine.
Our St. Jude Heritage Medical Group intensivists specialize in the complex
needs of seriously ill patients. They are familiar with the healthcare
professionals that will be important to you, including medical and surgical
specialists, radiologists and therapists. As a result, your intensivist
can help advance your treatment, and make certain you receive the best
When will I see the intensivist?
At most hospitals, a physician “rounds” on each patient either
before or after his or her office hours. Our intensivists have no outside
medical practice, which means they are available 24/7 within the CCU.
That gives them the flexibility to check on your progress as often as
needed throughout the day.
Why will an intensivist care for me instead of my own physician?
Your family doctor has an office outside the hospital and is sometimes
unavailable during office hours. Your intensivist’s office, however,
is the Critical Care Unit which means he or she can be accessible to you
and your family, respond more quickly to even subtle changes in your test
results or condition, and more effectively supervise your care.
Even though you will see the intensivist during your hospital stay, don’t
worry—both physicians communicate with each other to ensure that
you are getting exactly the care you need.
Will the intensivist be aware of my medical history?
Yes. As a St. Jude Heritage Medical Group doctor, your intensivist has
complete access to all of your medical files. Equally importantly, your
personal physician will ensure your intensivist is fully briefed on your
medical background and condition. Both physicians will communicate and
coordinate with each other about any follow-up care or special needs you may have.
What are the benefits of intensivists?
Studies show that intensivists improve the quality of care, increase patient
comfort, ensure frequent communication with the patient and their family,
and prevent delays in day-to-day care.
For many patients, the most important benefit is the intensivist’s
ability to immediately respond to new information—such as test results—or
changes in a patient’s condition. Our experience and commitment,
combined with an outstanding staff and a state-of-the-art facility ensures
patients receive the finest care available.