Intensive care medicine encompasses the assessment, resuscitation and ongoing management of critically ill patients with life-threatening single and multiple organ system failure. Work is not confined to the intensive care unit, since patients are usually admitted to the unit from the care of a primary team elsewhere within the hospital. Intensive care specialists are also frequently involved in transporting and assisting with the management of seriously ill patients who may not eventually end up in the intensive care unit.
In Australia and New Zealand, medical practitioners are required to complete the certification and training program of the CICM. This six year training program results in the award of the diploma FCICM, Fellowship of the College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand.