Box 1.

Royal College of Physicians Acute Medicine Task Force definition of the acute physician.16

A physician who has been trained to work in an acute medical unit and provide a medical lead in that area. As such the acute physician will have competences in the management of the acutely sick medical patient but will also have leadership skills, strong practical skills and the ability to manage and improve patient pathways. In day-to-day practice the acute physician will combine these competences, skills and abilities to produce high quality care for all patients with acute medical problems including supporting professional training and developing novel patient pathways.