Medical Minute: What is a hospitalist?

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By The Staff

Since the initiation of the hospitalist program at Los Alamos Medical Center, I have often been asked, “What is a hospitalist?” As the lead hospitalist of the program, I would like to provide you with answers to the questions I hear most frequently.

What is a hospitalist?

A hospitalist is a well-trained specialist who deals specifically with inpatient hospital care. We make daily rounds and, most importantly, are available on an urgent basis should you have an emergency or a significant change in your condition. While you are under our care, we will be responsible for performing exams and ordering diagnostic tests and other treatments that are appropriate for your acute condition.

Why isn’t my regular doctor seeing me in the hospital?

Your primary care provider has given the hospitalist program permission to care for your medical needs while you are in the hospital. During your hospital stay, your primary care provider will be informed of your admission, condition and discharge and will be able to monitor your course of care. Once you leave the hospital, your primary care provider will resume your outpatient care.

How can my family and I communicate with thehospitalist?

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