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What is a hospitalist?

Hospitalists specialize in caring for patients while they are in the hospital.

Some medical specialties are organized around the age of a patient, a specific disease, or a particular body part or system. But hospital medicine is organized around the site where medical care takes place—in this case, a hospital.

Hospitalists are doctors who may help manage treatment while a person is in the hospital. They may also help organize any care necessary for the person after he or she goes home.

According to the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), there are several possible benefits that hospitalists can offer. Because a hospitalist's practice is limited to people in the hospital, he or she may gain valuable experience dealing with the unique needs of a person during a hospital stay. In addition, a hospitalist may be well-suited to respond to changes in a hospitalized person's condition.

And spending most of their workday in the hospital makes hospitalists especially accessible and easily able to coordinate the efforts of the many people involved in a person's care.

The SHM reports that most practicing hospitalists are trained in general internal medicine. Others are trained in specialties such as pediatrics and family medicine.

reviewed 1/13/2020

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