An infectious disease physician is a type of physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of any diseases that are considered infectious – that is, are able to spread to other humans via different methods. Generally, an ID physician would perform their job by first analyzing the situation in the patient using a variety of tools and procedures (such as blood samples and X-Ray), in order to determine if an infectious disease is actually present. Then, they’d determine if the disease needs to be contained (and the patient quarantined for a set period), and prescribe a course of treatment accordingly.
To become an infectious disease physician, one doesn’t typically need any additional education beyond that provided to a regular medical student. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, the candidate would then need to pass medical school (which typically lasts up to four years), and undergo an examination in order to obtain a license allowing them to practice as a physician legally.
Infectious disease physicians actually earn less than most other types of physicians, which makes the job a sort of unattractive choice for many people going through medical school – however, some choose to specialize in it because of various perks and bonuses that may be attached to the position by the government. The average annual salary varies between $115,000 – $192,000, and the job can have some very inflexible working hours due to the nature of the work, though the reward factor tends to be high.