When the American College of Critical Care Medicine was created in 1988, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) began a tradition dedicated to the recognition of excellence. The College is committed to fostering the highest goals of multidisciplinary critical care medicine, honoring individuals whose achievements and contributions demonstrate personal commitment to these goals, promoting a forum for the development of collaborative practice among the specialties and professions providing critical care, and providing the Society with a consultative body possessing recognized expertise in the practice of critical care.
The College fosters the highest goals of multidisciplinary critical care practice. The prestigious designation of Fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine (FCCM) honors practitioners, researchers, administrators and educators who have made outstanding contributions to the field of critical care. It also indicates that their achievements demonstrate personal and professional commitment to the profession. The College, which is the first honorary society specifically for critical care practitioners, is made up of nurses, respiratory therapists, physicians and other allied health professionals who are all experts in their fields.
As an organization devoted to creating a greater understanding of critical care, the College emphasizes quality management in the practice and administration of critical care, focuses on leadership and underscores the importance of supervision, humane caring, communication and public opinion involving critical care.
Founded in 1970, the SCCM is the leading multidisciplinary organization for physicians, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacologists and pharmacists, scientists, bioengineers, critical care industry executives and other allied health professionals involved in the care of the critically ill and injured. SCCM is dedicated to the improved care of the critically ill and injured through excellence in multidisciplinary patient care, education and research.
With more than 8,000 members from 55 countries, SCCM strongly influences the practice and focus of critical care medicine. SCCM members include the medical, nursing, and allied health professionals who work in intensive care units (ICUs) around the world. Members represent several medical specialties, including internal medicine (cardiology and pulmonology), surgery, anesthesiology, pediatrics, neonatology, neurology and burn therapy. The critical care nurses belonging to SCCM include those specializing in nursing research, pediatrics, surgery and other areas. Allied health professionals such as pharmacists and pharmacologists, respiratory therapists and researchers also bring their expertise to the care of critically ill and injured patients.
SCCM's commitment to high-quality education for critical care practitioners is at the heart of all Society efforts. Each year, SCCM's Educational and Scientific Symposium brings together more than 2,500 of the world's leading practitioners. During plenary lectures, workshops, panel discussions, and special sessions, practitioners focus on issues involving clinical practice and the ever-changing environment of the critical care unit.
In addition to the Symposium, SCCM offers other educational programs. Regional programs, specialty certification workshops, and preparation courses are offered throughout the year. SCCM is a member of the World Federation of Intensive Care Societies and hosted the World Congress of Critical Care Medicine in 1981. In 1991, SCCM became a member of the American Medical Association and actively participates in the AMA House of Delegates and various committees.
Recent Society efforts have focused on involvement in health care policy. Current SCCM concerns focus on national health system reform, patient advocacy issues, implementation of national legislation to improve the nation's trauma care system, advocating increased federal funding for critical care research, and ensuring equitable reimbursement for critical care physicians. Direct involvement through submitted testimony, mail campaigns, and meetings with government officials has resulted in an increased awareness of critical care among legislators and policy-makers, and has strengthened the Society's role in these efforts.