A hospitalist is a doctor who specializes in the medical oversight of patients who are admitted to a hospital. These physicians are familiar with the specific needs of hospital patients and are responsible for providing quality care and education to patients, as well as professional leadership to supporting staff members. Although hospitalists have only recently begun to be recognized for their professional area of expertise, physicians who work primarily in inpatient care have been around for many decades.
Hospitalists fill a void when a patientís primary care doctor or specialty physician cannot be present to oversee care in the hospital. By having a hospitalist present on staff, hospitals can help ease the burden on primary care providers and provide a more streamlined and convenient patient experience. Care tends to be more coordinated, which often proves safer for patients who require complex inpatient care.