What an infectious disease specialist does

An infectious disease (ID) specialist is a doctor of internal medicine (or, in some cases, pediatrics) who is qualified as an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. ID specialists have expertise in sinus infection and infections of the heart, brain, lungs, urinary tract, bowel, bones and pelvic organs. Their extensive training focuses on all kinds of infections, including those caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Many ID physicians specialize in treating patients with infections due to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of AIDS. ID physicians possess a particular insight into the use of antibiotics and their potential adverse effects. ID specialists also have additional training in immunology (how the body fights infection), epidemiology (how infections spread) and infection control.

How infectious disease specialists work with other physicians

Although infectious disease specialists sometimes serve as primary-care physicians, in most cases you will still need your regular provider. Before seeing an ID specialist, your primary care provider should assess your condition to determine if a referral to our clinic is recommended. After seeing an ID specialist, it is likely you will be asked to return to the ID specialist for a follow-up visit to review test results and to be sure that your infection has been eliminated. ID specialists may wish to follow up with you until they feel confident that the infection will not recur. You will resume care with your primary-care physician when your condition has stabilized or is cured. 
Note: Valley’s Infectious Disease Clinic treats patients who are 18 years old and older. 

  • HIV treatment and prevention
  • Hepatitis treatment
  • Skin infections including MRSA
  • Chronic and unusual lung infections
  • Recurrent urinary infections
  • Bone and joint infections
  • Travel related infections
  • Chronic wound infections 
  • Treatment and prevention of infections in immune compromised people including diabetic patients