For many board-certified sleep medicine physicians, direct patient care is their primary daily activity. Sleep physicians care for patients with a variety of sleep disorders in various settings, including hospitals, offices or at one of the 2,500 AASM-accredited sleep facilities across the country.
Many sleep specialists teach medical students, residents and fellows. Often, board-certified sleep medicine physicians are involved in sleep medicine at a teaching hospital that is affiliated with a medical school. Many teaching hospitals and medical schools have a sleep facility of their own, allowing fellows the opportunity to gain hands-on experience.
A number of board-certified sleep medicine physicians are involved in the business of medicine. AASM-accredited sleep facilities are owned or managed by board-certified sleep medicine physicians. Due to the multidisciplinary approach of the field, sleep physicians are uniquely qualified to work within all levels of medical administration
Sleep is an exciting and ever-changing field that fosters research in various sectors. Board-certified sleep medicine physicians can perform research as their primary activity in academic institutions and other settings such as industry, government, or private practice. Sleep research has a diverse scope that runs the gamut from basic science to patient-oriented research to population health.
The variety of career opportunities within sleep medicine allows those in the field to customize their career goals to best fit their interests. Some may choose to provide patient care while participating in education and community outreach, while others may devote their time to research and public policy to contribute to sleep health on a broader scale. Training in sleep medicine provides a basis upon which one can pursue professional growth in a number of areas.