Learn more about Hospital Medicine Specialists and how to choose the right one for you
A hospitalist is usually a doctor, but can also be a physician assistant or nurse practitioner, who specializes in general medical care for hospitalized patients. Hospitalists practice solely in the hospital. They work shifts instead of making rounds—when your surgeon or regular doctor comes by to check on you when you are recovering in the hospital. This allows patients to see a hospitalist and receive in-hospital care whenever a need or question arises. Hospitalists promote safe, high-quality, patient-centered healthcare, while using hospital resources efficiently.
A hospitalist typically:
Evaluates a patient’s medical history and present illness
Performs physical exams and medical procedures
Orders and interprets imaging exams and laboratory tests
Diagnoses and treats patients who are hospitalized with acute illnesses
Collaborates with primary care doctors and other specialists to ensure continuity of care before and after hospitalization
Focuses on efficient use of hospital resources, patient safety, and quality and consistency of care to decrease hospital length of stay and readmission rates. This helps control healthcare expenses and has a positive financial effect.
A hospitalist may also be known as a hospital medicine doctor or hospitalist physician. A hospitalist is quite distinct from a house officer. A house officer usually refers to a medical intern or resident who is employed by the hospital during his or her medical training.