Doctors, in general, get a lot of attention and praise from the general public. However, not all doctors are equal, as some have it harder than others. One of the most essential physician practices out there has got to be the hospitalist. Oh, they work a lot more than your average Joe, that’s for sure.
Now, while you might be wondering what exactly it is they do, hospitalist doctors are the ones you get referred to by your primary care physician (family doctor) when you need more intensive care in, you guessed it, a hospital. But let’s dive further in so you can truly grasp their importance.
What Is a Hospitalist Doctor?
A hospitalist doctor is someone who provides care for patients at a hospital. They have the same education and training as your primary care doctor but specialize in providing hospital care.
Knowing the fact that hospitals can often get overwhelmed and doctors in all specialties are short in numbers, you might not be too surprised looking at all the numerous hospitalist jobs in New York.
Furthermore, a hospitalist doctor shouldn’t be confused with someone who focuses on a specific disease or body part. Instead, they are more similar to generalist doctors, in the sense that they focus on all patients being treated inside a hospital so that they can have a speedy recovery.
Things a Hospitalist Doctor Does
As you can imagine, taking care of patients inside a hospital isn’t easy. And that goes double if the patient is in critical condition. After all, the coronavirus pandemic has taught us a thing or two about the necessity of emergency treatment.
Hospitalist doctors greet patients from the moment they enter until the moment they leave. A hospitalist doctor fills in the gap between a primary care doctor and an emergency room doctor. Finally, they follow up with your primary care doctor after your hospital visit to assess your health profile and see what you’ll need in the future.
The list of hospitalist doctor activities includes:
- Coordinated care between specialists
- Internal medicine
- Acute medical care
- Ordering and evaluating diagnostic tests
- The transition of care to specialists
- Palliative care
Finally, it’s worth noting that even though they are not specialized in a single organ or disease, hospitalist doctors are trained to treat a wide variety of ailments. They do work similar to the work your primary care doctor does — just in a hospital setting.
When to See a Hospitalist Doctor
In most cases, you won’t need to go see a hospitalist doctor on your own. You’ll be referred to one by another doctor depending on your particular case. For example, after a car accident, your E.R. doctor might refer you to a hospitalist physician for further examination.
Moreover, your primary care physician might refer you to a hospitalist doctor if your condition needs more examinations in an environment that has more equipment – i.e. a hospital in this instance.
And, of course, you’ll be taken care of by a hospitalist doctor whenever you’ll be taken to the hospital by an ambulance or through other similar circumstances. More often than not, people are referred to hospitalist doctors for the following reasons:
- Sudden unexplainable pain
- Pneumonia infection
- Asthma attack
- Broken bones
- Heart attack
- Respiratory infection
The Bottom Line
Hospitalist doctors are an essential part of our healthcare system. Without them, you wouldn’t receive nearly the same level of care that you would receive in a hospital. It’s safe to say that our society would be even closer to a collapse without hospitalist physicians to take care of us.
Furthermore, their training in first aid and other important medical procedures makes these people invaluable even outside of the hospital. For example, a hospitalist might sometimes get called to act as an ambulance doctor if the situation calls for it (i.e. there’s no one else there to save a person in need). All in all, hospitalist doctors are a true blessing.