May 7th, 2012 | The Blog
So, you are admitted to the hospital and your primary care physician (PCP) does not participate in your day-to-day care. Who is in charge of coordinating your care? The answer is simple: a hospitalist.
The term, hospitalist, was first used by the New England Journal of Medicine in 1996 when there were a few hundred physicians practicing in this category. There are currently thousands of hospitalists in this rapidly growing specialty.
The Need for This Role
As physicians work to increase their patient base, it is difficult to efficiently and effectively manage both the outpatient and inpatient portions of a medical practice. Hence, hospitalists came into play to cover the inpatient side.
In 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), which is the board that oversees medical residency programs, made significant changes in the hours residents are allowed to work. This dramatically impacted the inpatient unit coverage by medical staff and hands-on patient management.
This physician is a specialist in inpatient medicine who cares for hospitalized patients. They practice clinical management in all areas of a hospitalized patient’s healthcare.
Most hospitalists are board certified in internal medicine but can have a base in other medical specialties. Some physicians choose to take on this role right out of medical school while others choose to pursue it after having been in private practice for a number of years.
Advantages of a Hospitalist
Disadvantages of a Hospitalist
Next time you or a family member is admitted to the hospital, it will probably be a well-qualified hospitalist who manages your healthcare. You will be in good hands.