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Hospital Medicine

What is a Hospitalist?

The term “hospitalist” refers to physicians whose practice emphasizes providing care for hospitalized patients. At times, you may be cared for by a hospitalist while you are a patient. Hospitalists typically spend most or all of their day in the hospital and can be more readily available to a patient than a physician who spends much of their day outside the hospital.

Will my primary care doctor still see me in the hospital?

Some physicians admit patients to the hospital and will manage their care throughout the patient’s hospitalization, while other physicians no longer do hospital inpatient care. Because of this, at times, you may be cared for by a hospitalist.

What happens when I am admitted to the hospital by a hospitalist?

At the time of admission, the hospitalist relies on you, your family, medical records and input from your primary care doctor or other specialists for information on your health care needs during hospitalization and will notify your primary care doctor with timely information as needed.

A hospitalist and other medical providers will examine you and coordinate all exams, tests, treatments and order necessary physician consultations and share information with you, your family and primary care doctor.

How do I contact a hospitalist if I have questions about my care while I am in the hospital?

Hospitalists and other medical providers generally visit once a day or more often as necessary during your hospital stay.

  • At any of these visits, you may ask questions about your hospital plan of care.
  • For urgent questions during the day or after hours, your hospital nurse will be able to contact the hospitalist and other medical providers.
What happens when I am discharged from the hospital?

The hospitalist will provide your primary care doctor with a full report of your health care status based on your hospital stay. In addition, they may contact your primary care doctor to discuss further treatment needs and help to arrange for follow-up care. The hospitalist will provide you with discharge medications and pertinent information on your hospital stay along with the medical follow-up needed.

For more information, please contact your primary care physician.