Hospitalist - How to Become a Hospitalist

Hospitalist

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Hospitalist Job Description

 

Hospitalists are medical doctors (M.D.) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of patients in the hospital.. They are the primary individual who oversees and handles all aspects of a patient's hospitalization, treatment, and recovery.

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Responsibilities

 

Hospitalist have many responsibilities and functions. They are responsible with every aspect of bedside care while a patient is hospitalized. Not only do you supervise all patient services and coordinate with other doctors, but you also must do the following:

  • Ensure treatment plans are compatible with other professionals

  • Maintain efficiency and accuracy

  • Manage administrative tasks

  • Diagnose illness

  • Create comprehensive care plans

  • Manage information and patient histories

  • Coordinate with other doctors on treatment plans

  • Manage follow ups

  • Provide bedside care throughout a patient's hospital stay

  • Manage consultations and communications with specialists

  • Order labs

  • Manage the discharge of patients

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Skills

 

Communication Must be able to clearly explain test results and treatment path to patients. Must correspond with other members of the medical team to ensure the best care for the patient. 
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing patient to make sure they are responding well to treatment and make improvements or take corrective action when necessary. 
Critical Thinking Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Detail Oriented  Must be able to pinpoint small details that could make or break patient diagnosis and evaluation. 
Complex Problem Solving Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 
Empathy Must be able to empathize with a patient's pain and difficulties. Need to make people feel comfortable and meet them at their emotional level to humanize themselves since they deal with people with medical needs. 
Science Must know all about the human body and interactions it has with it's environment. Must know chemicals and reactions. 
Troubleshooting Must be able to hypothesize and test theories to ensure that the proper diagnosis is found and the best treatment path is taken. 
Patience Must be able to put in long hours and have patience when it comes to trying to create comprehensive treatment plans. 

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Working Conditions

 

Most hospitalists work in hospitals facilitating bedside care with patients. They work long hours and can be on-call, work weekends, holidays, and nights. They are the main point of contact with patients and work with other medical professionals, so they must be able to coordinate with others and work with others constantly. 

You can also work in private practices by contracting with the practice and providing the same functions you would in a hospital. The job has a ton of stress that comes with it since you are a medical doctor and have to ensure proper patient care. 

 


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How to Become a Hospitalist:

 

1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

 

The first step on the path to becoming an Hospitalist (M.D.) is to earn a bachelor's degree in an undergraduate pre-med program. While each medical school has different requirements for admission, they all focus on certain common areas of study, including:

  • Anatomy

  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • Calculus

  • Organic Chemistry

  • Physics

A minimum of 3 years of undergraduate completion is required before applying to medical school while maintaining a high GPA (3.6+). Due to the competitive nature of these programs, the candidates with the most success are well-rounded with work, volunteer, extracurricular, and shadowing experience as well.

If you have three years of college but no bachelor’s degree, you can still be accepted to medical school. There are post-baccalaureate programs designed to help students catch up by providing the courses needed to apply to medical school. For applying, you must submit a copy of transcripts from any college and/or graduate school you’ve attended. You’ll also need letters of recommendation and scores from the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). If you aren’t satisfied with your MCAT scores, you can retake the exam. The American Medical College Application Service can help with submitting one application to multiple medical schools.

All college students planning to enter medical school should take certain courses, regardless of their undergraduate major. Different medical schools may have varying requirements, so the following is intended as a basic guide.

 

The preparation timeline below outlines the suggested courses:

 

Freshman Year
  • General Biology I & Lab
  • General Biology II & Lab
  • General Chemistry I & Lab
  • General Chemistry II & Lab
  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II
  • Electives
Sophomore Year
  • Organic Chemistry I & Lab
  • Organic Chemistry II & Lab
  • Social Sciences Requirements
  • Electives & Courses to Satisfy Your Major
  • Begin MCAT Studies

Junior Year

  • Physics I & Lab
  • Physics II & Lab
  • Electives & Courses to Satisfy Your Major
  • Request Application from the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)
  • Register for the MCAT
Senior Year
  • Complete Required Graduation Coursework
  • Upper level kinesiology 
  • Upper level biology
  • Upper level chemistry
  • remaining pre-requisites 
  • Prepare for Interviews 
  • Search for Scholarships, Loans, Grants and Other Funding Options

Extracurricular activities are strongly encouraged, as well. Some suggested activities might include participating in a pre-health advisory program or joining other clubs and organizations. You may also consider establishing a relationship with a local doctor who would allow you to shadow him or her for a few days.

 

2. Take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

 

To be admitted into medical school, candidates must first take the MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, a 7.5 hour, standardized, multiple choice exam used to assess the applicant's knowledge of science, reasoning, communication, and writing skills.

 

The MCAT is divided into four sections:

 

Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95 minutes
  • Tests biology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and biochemistry
Chemical & Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95 minutes
  • Tests biochemistry, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics

Psychological, Social, & Biological Foundations of Behavior

  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95 minutes
  • Tests introductory psychology, sociology, and biology
Critical Analysis & Reasoning Skills
  • 53 multiple-choice questions
  • 90 minutes
  • Tests reading comprehension, humanities, and social sciences

 

You can find study materials, MCAT registration, and your test scores on the AAMC website here.

 

3. Earn a Medical Degree (4 Years)

 

A list of accredited medical education programs is available through the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). For more information and advice on successfully getting into medical school, you can check with the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Medical school consists of four years of studying the basics in science and participating in clinical “rotations.” These are hands-on clinical experiences in real health care settings. In most med schools, the first two years are taken up with classroom studies before students are assigned to do rotations. The current trend, however, finds a number of medical schools exposing students to early clinical experiences that continue throughout the four-year program.

Most medical schools base their curriculum on a system-based approach that focuses on one physiological system at a time, such as the respiratory system or the nervous system. Still others may use a case-based curriculum that teaches about the human body’s normal functioning and disease processes by assigning students to following individual patient cases from start to finish. Still other med schools use a combination of these approaches to educate their students.

The most common lines of coursework among medical schools consist of the following subjects:

  • Anatomy

  • Biochemistry

  • Ethics

  • Pharmacology

  • Physiology

  • Psychology

During the last two years of schooling, students are required to obtain hands-on experience at hospitals and clinics, learning to diagnose and treat patients while working under the supervision of licensed physicians. 

Upon completion of four years of med school, a student is awarded a medical degree (M.D.). Another popular trend is for schools to offer combination degree programs, such as MD/MPH, MD/PHD or MD/JD. The AAMC’s website on Medical School Admission Requirements offers more information on this option.

 

4. Earn the Required Medical License

 

Every state requires physicians to pass a national, standardized exam. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, so contact your state's medical board for specific requirements.

For an aspiring Physicians (M.D.), the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is required. The USMLE is sponsored by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States (FSMB). Aspiring physicians can find sample questions, tutorials, and other study materials on the USMLE website. This exam has a limit of 6 attempts, and they may not be retaken to improve scores.

 

5. Complete a Residency Program (3 - 4 Years)

 

After completing med school, you aren’t finished yet. Now it’s time to choose your specialty and complete your residency. These residency programs are offered in conjunction with intensive clinical training experiences. Depending on the specialty, residency can last from three to eight years. To be a Hospitalist you can choose different residency paths. You can complete a residency in internal medicine, family medicine, or pediatrics.

The American Medical Association’s online FREIDA service is an interactive database of over 9,400 graduate medical education programs. These programs are all accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. There is also information on over 200 combined specialty programs.

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
11.28.2016
Doctorate Hospitalist: Will be responsible for providing Hospitalist services at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital for mostly adult patients. Flexible scheduling with 12-hour shifts. Primary responsibility is admissions. Very limited...
11.28.2016
Responsible for providing Hospitalist services at FirstHealth's hospital in Rockingham, NC. Block schedule with 7 on/7 off. Must be a graduate from an accredited medical school and internal medicine residency program. Board...
11.22.2016
  Jefferson County Health Center is a Critical Access Hospital looking for a ARNP or Physician Assistant to join our Hospitalist program.   Providing medical care to patients in our inpatient unit with an average daily...
11.28.2016
The Hospitalist will admit patients to the hospital. They will consult, perform procedures, care for and discharge patients. Admission process will include history and physical, complete orders, and progress note with plan of care. Additional...
11.28.2016
The Stead Family Department of Pediatrics at the University of Iowa seeks pediatric hospitalists at the rank of Associate, (non-tenure); or Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor (tenure or non-tenure track). The individual...
11.28.2016
Physician who is interested in providing strictly inpatient care as part of St. Tammany Parish Hospital's Hospitalist program. Must be Louisiana licensed and Board Certified, or Board eligible, in Internal Medicine. Will report directly to the...
11.28.2016
Private, 250 bed community-based teaching hospital located 20 miles south of Boston, seeks Board Certified and/or Board Eligible internal medicine physician to join progressive Hospitalist program as a Nocturnist. Very competitive salary and...
11.28.2016
Duties of the physician: Primary duty of the physician is to provide coverage for all inpatients. Tour of duty will cover 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Adequate documentation of resident supervision in accordance with VHA policy is...
11.28.2016
Seeking full-time Hospitalist physician to join our Hospitalist group. This is an outstanding opportunity to join a collegial team of physicians in a well-organized, well-supported, physician-led practice. The position will also include...
11.28.2016
BC/BE Pediatric Hospitalist to join 4 Pediatric Hospitalists. Work 7a-7p, with rotating 30-day call schedule from 7p-7am. Competitive compensation, full benefits, and incentives offered. Negotiable incentives: loan assistance, relocation and...
11.28.2016
Leadership opportunity with progressive program. Responsible for providing oversight of FirstHealth's Hospitalist Services across four campuses. Mix of clinical and administrative time (50/50). Board Certification in Internal Medicine required,...
11.28.2016
Under the direction of the facility Hospitalist(s), the Nurse Practitioner assists the physician in the clinical assessment and management of assigned patients' continuum of care. Renders services utilizing advanced nursing practice skills...
12.02.2016
The Hospitalist is responsible for the provision of direct, primary inpatient care to seniors in the Medical Acute Care Unit of Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. The MACU, licensed as an LTAC, is designed to accommodate the clinical needs of post...
03.01.2016
This is a full-time Hospital employed position (Board Certified or eligible in Family Medicine). The physician is required to work at least two five day eight hour shifts starting Thursday through Monday providing direct inpatient care. Along...
11.28.2016
Seeking an outstanding Internal Medicine hospitalist to join our 17-doctor group at Virginia Hospital Center located in Arlington, Virginia, 15 minutes from downtown Washington DC. Our competitive compensation package includes generous bonus...
  1. Hospitalist Pinehurst, NC FirstHealth of the Carolinas
    Doctorate Hospitalist: Will be responsible for providing Hospitalist services at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital for mostly adult patients. Flexible scheduling with 12-hour shifts. Primary responsibility is admissions. Very limited...
  2. Hospitalist Pinehurst, NC FirstHealth of the Carolinas
    Responsible for providing Hospitalist services at FirstHealth's hospital in Rockingham, NC. Block schedule with 7 on/7 off. Must be a graduate from an accredited medical school and internal medicine residency program. Board...
  3. Hospitalist Fairfield, IA Jefferson County Health Center
      Jefferson County Health Center is a Critical Access Hospital looking for a ARNP or Physician Assistant to join our Hospitalist program.   Providing medical care to patients in our inpatient unit with an average daily...
  4. Hospitalist Crosby, MN Cuyuna Regional Medical Center
    The Hospitalist will admit patients to the hospital. They will consult, perform procedures, care for and discharge patients. Admission process will include history and physical, complete orders, and progress note with plan of care. Additional...
  5. PEDIATRIC HOSPITALIST Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    The Stead Family Department of Pediatrics at the University of Iowa seeks pediatric hospitalists at the rank of Associate, (non-tenure); or Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor (tenure or non-tenure track). The individual...
  6. Hospitalist Physician Covington, LA St. Tammany Parish Hospital
    Physician who is interested in providing strictly inpatient care as part of St. Tammany Parish Hospital's Hospitalist program. Must be Louisiana licensed and Board Certified, or Board eligible, in Internal Medicine. Will report directly to the...
  7. Hospitalist Nocturnist Brockton, MA Signature Healthcare
    Private, 250 bed community-based teaching hospital located 20 miles south of Boston, seeks Board Certified and/or Board Eligible internal medicine physician to join progressive Hospitalist program as a Nocturnist. Very competitive salary and...
  8. Physician-Hospitalist Des Moines, IA VA Central Iowa Health Care System
    Duties of the physician: Primary duty of the physician is to provide coverage for all inpatients. Tour of duty will cover 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Adequate documentation of resident supervision in accordance with VHA policy is...
  9. Hospitalist- HMG Baton Rouge, LA Baton Rouge General Medical Center
    Seeking full-time Hospitalist physician to join our Hospitalist group. This is an outstanding opportunity to join a collegial team of physicians in a well-organized, well-supported, physician-led practice. The position will also include...
  10. HOSPITALIST/PEDS Mason City, IA Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa
    BC/BE Pediatric Hospitalist to join 4 Pediatric Hospitalists. Work 7a-7p, with rotating 30-day call schedule from 7p-7am. Competitive compensation, full benefits, and incentives offered. Negotiable incentives: loan assistance, relocation and...
  11. Chief of Hospitalist Medicine Pinehurst, NC FirstHealth of the Carolinas
    Leadership opportunity with progressive program. Responsible for providing oversight of FirstHealth's Hospitalist Services across four campuses. Mix of clinical and administrative time (50/50). Board Certification in Internal Medicine required,...
  12. Nurse Practitioner-Hospitalist-FT Jackson, MS Central Mississippi Medical Center
    Under the direction of the facility Hospitalist(s), the Nurse Practitioner assists the physician in the clinical assessment and management of assigned patients' continuum of care. Renders services utilizing advanced nursing practice skills...
  13. Hospitalist per Diem Roslindale, MA Hebrew SeniorLife
    The Hospitalist is responsible for the provision of direct, primary inpatient care to seniors in the Medical Acute Care Unit of Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. The MACU, licensed as an LTAC, is designed to accommodate the clinical needs of post...
  14. Hospitalist/Emergency Medicine Physician Havre, MT Northern Montana Health Care
    This is a full-time Hospital employed position (Board Certified or eligible in Family Medicine). The physician is required to work at least two five day eight hour shifts starting Thursday through Monday providing direct inpatient care. Along...
  15. Physician, Internal Medicine Hospitalist Arlington, VA Virginia Hospital Center
    Seeking an outstanding Internal Medicine hospitalist to join our 17-doctor group at Virginia Hospital Center located in Arlington, Virginia, 15 minutes from downtown Washington DC. Our competitive compensation package includes generous bonus...