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Selected Career Paths: Highlights about Careers in Internal Medicine: Hospital Medicine/Hospitalists

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The Discipline

The national association for hospitalists, Society of Hospital Medicine, defines hospitalists as “physicians whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients.” 95% of hospitalists are trained in internal medicine and 5% in family medicine.

Procedures/Specialized Skills

The scope of hospitalist practice may include the care of general medical patients and co-management of surgical cases, palliative care, and intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Common procedures are arthrocentesis, lumbar puncture, paracentesis, thoracentesis, and vascular access.

Training

Although fellowship training is currently not required of hospitalists, more than 20 fellowship programs exist. They are typically one to two years in length and offer additional certifications in public health, quality improvement and clinical research.

Certification

No certification currently exists for hospitalists.

Training Positions

Fewer than 50 hospital medicine fellowships are available annually.

Practice

In hospitalist practice, 34% are employed by hospitals, 20% employed by academic institutions, 20% by management companies, 20% by medical groups and the remainder in hybrid arrangements.

Major Professional Societies

American College of Physicians
Society of Hospital Medicine

Major Publications

ACP Hospitalist
Annals of Internal Medicine
The Hospitalist
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Journal of Hospital Medicine
Today’s Hospitalist

Back to March 2007 Issue of IMpact

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