Hospitalists (physicians) generally work at hospitals and focus on medical care for hospitalized patients. They must have a degree from accredited medical school and possess current state medical licensing, as well as board certification or eligibility. Most physicians are trained in internal medicine, and the licensing process can begin while they are still attending medical school.
Some physicians are required to possess certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine, and they must have thorough knowledge of medical equipment such as MRI scans and ultrasound imaging, even if they do not use such equipment directly to treat patients. They must always stay up-to-date with new drugs, treatments, medical equipment, and technology related to their field. Good bedside manner and the ability to listen to patients are also important.
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are important in this position, as physicians must always be supportive of other hospitalists and willing to work in a team environment. They are encouraged to attend relevant conferences and read medical journals, and some may be required to work long hours during their first years. They may receive calls from their hospitals in the evenings or on weekends even when they are not scheduled to work.
Prior work experience is generally required by employers, and physicians must be flexible in order to work in shifts. They may work at any time of the day or night and see over 100 patients a day. Some may also help train or mentor new physicians.
Hospitalist (Physician) Tasks
Serve as point of contact for all health care around particular patients.
Handle problems, emergencies, and changes in situations rapidly.
Oversee communication with hospitalized patients, family members, nurses, and doctors.