LAST UPDATED 01/26/15 1:26 PM: Due to the Winter Storm Warning for our region, community education and outreach classes that are scheduled for Monday evening, Jan. 26, 2015, and Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015 have been cancelled. All of the Princeton House outpatient centers and outpatient admissions offices will be closed to patients on Tuesday, Jan. 27. Please check back as we will continue to post updates related to the storm here.

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.