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Get to Know: Hospitalists

  • Article by:Health Career Center
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As government reform alters the landscape of health care in the U.S., new challenges arise almost daily. But for many health care professionals, these challenges aren’t a bad thing—they’re golden opportunities to redefine and expand their roles.

At HealthCareerCenter.com, we want to shed light on these roles and the talented people who are driving their growth. Today, we’re focusing on hospitalists. Here are some important things you may not have known about them.

Hospitalists are the fastest-growing physician specialty.
…and it’s not even close. Right now, there are approximately 50,000 hospitalists working in health systems across the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t offer a breakdown of physician types, but forecasts that general physicians will see an 18% increase in job prospects over the next 7 years—and hospitalists are expected to be at the high end of that figure.

This is driven in part by the fact that a rising number of baby boomers are in need of more frequent acute care. As a result, more than 75% of hospitals in the U.S. will feature hospital medicine groups by the end of the year.

They see 15-20 patients a day or more.
There may be no such thing as an easy day in health care. But hospitalists, who typically work 12-hour days starting at 7 a.m., have it especially rough.

The typical day for a hospitalist starts by getting a “sign out” report from the physician who worked the night before. Hospitalists use this information to plan the rest of their day, usually prioritizing patients in order of who needs urgent care the most. From there, they work through their entire roster of patients, admit new patients, assist with patients who are ready for discharge, and more.

They’re at the forefront of using social media for health care.
For their most challenging cases, hospitalists are increasingly turning to their peers on social media to find answers. Websites such as Hospital Medicine Exchange (HMX) serve as helpful forums where physicians can share experiences and compare treatment plans without compromising private patient information.

Meanwhile, in their off time, more and more hospitalists are relying on social networks to cut through the clutter and alert them to interesting articles and research findings. Instead of sifting through countless medical journals in the hopes of uncovering useful information, they can simply open their news feed to see what their peers are talking about—which is especially convenient on mobile devices.

They’re expanding beyond general medicine.
As with many other branches of health care, more tailored and patient-specific treatment plans are leading to higher degrees of specialization for hospitalists. Whereas traditional hospitalists stick to general medicine, today’s hospitalists are branching out to offer focused care in fields like neurology and obstetrics.

This is good news for everyone. Patients gain access to doctors who have more experience and knowledge in their field than generalists. Hospitalists get to concentrate on the subjects that they find most interesting. And hospitals can employ a single roving specialist for multiple locations, instead of hiring dedicated ones for each facility.

Hospitalists aren’t the only health care profession that’s in high demand. At HealthCareerCenter.com, our job boards feature thousands of positions across the entire care continuum—and many with the nation’s top organizations.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, come see all the job openings available at HealthCareerCenter.com today.

The information in this article originally appeared on the ASPR website. To read the original article, click here.