What You Need to Know About Hospitalists

Many people aren't familiar with the term hospitalists. It is a fairly new term coined about a decade ago by a group of physicians. In today's medical fields, there are medical specialists covering every facet of the human body and mind. A hospitalist is someone who takes on patient care as a whole for the hospital. A great majority of hospitalists are usually a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, D.O. or a Doctor of Medicine, M.D. who acts as a transition coordinator as well as a case manager. They handle the patient care, teaching, research and leadership aspects of care in a hospital to medical residents who will hold the future hospitalist jobs.

Hospitalist Medicine is usually centered on the medical care of seriously ill patients who require a stay, either short term or long term, in a hospital setting. Those physicians who choose to focus on the care of patients in a hospital are the caregivers termed as hospitalists, and can choose to form a hospitalist group of physicians. Hospitalist Medicine, much like other medical specialties, is organized around the hospital, or site of care. In most emergency rooms in a hospitalist specialized hospital, you may see two physician names on your patient ID wristband. One name will belong to your admitting doctor who is usually your primary care physician and the other name would be the attending doctor, or the hospitalist physician.

Most residents receive the usual impatient portion of their training which is a substantial part of their hospitalist training but recent studies have shown that while getting the inpatient training is sufficient for traditional hospitals, in order to meet the criteria for working in a hospitalist facility they aren't properly prepared for certain aspects such as hospice, neurology, consultative medicine or even quality assurance. These areas tend to be lumped together in general residency training.

In order to attain the proper training to obtain one of many hospitalist jobs opening in the job market, many residency programs are beginning to design a special training track with a more developed education tailored for potential hospitalists. There are also many universities that are beginning to offer fellowship programs that prepare them for a future in hospitalist medicine.

It seems that the popularity of the combining of management and medicine in the hospitalist medicine field is rising. There are more than 30,000 practicing hospitalists in nearly half of all community hospitals as well as around 3,300 major hospitals. Most of the doctors that make up this number are recently graduated residents. With the growing popularity of the hospitalist movement, many medical professionals and experts are saying that in a decade or so hospital medicine will most likely become its own specialty with its own residencies as well as its own board certification. With the introduction of a hospitalist group into the inpatient circle of care, the patients need less days in the hospital to recover; overall care is more efficient and it also reduces the treatment costs which are all welcome changes in a struggling economy.

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