What is a Hospitalist?

If you or someone you know has recently been admitted to a hospital, there's a good chance that care was managed by a hospitalist. Hospital medicine has started to take hold in New Jersey, as more and more patients and institutions like University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP) have come to understand and appreciate the benefits of having hospitalists.

So, what exactly is a hospitalist? Hospitalist is the term used for doctors who are specialized in the care of patients in the hospital. Most hospitalists are board certified internists who have undergone the same training as other internal medicine doctors, including medical school, residency training and board certification examination.

A hospitalist manages a patient's care from admission to discharge. Their role is to ensure patients get high-quality, coordinated care, including consultations with specialists or primary care physicians.

Some primary doctors who choose to devote more time to seeing patients in the office entrust hospitalists to manage the care of their hospitalized patients. A hospitalist can also be called into action by physicians in the Center for Emergency Care at UMCPP, for a patient who either doesn't live locally or whose primary care provider is not on staff at UMCPP.

With on-site availability and lack of typical office time constraints, hospitalists at UMCPP are available to answer questions, discuss test results and engage in family discussions, as the case requires.