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Ideas and Opinions |

The Impact of Hospitalists on Medical Education and the Academic Health System

Lee Goldman, MD
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From University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, California. Note: This article is one of a series of articles comprising an Annals of Internal Medicine supplement entitled “ The Hospitalist Movement in the United States.” To see a complete list of the articles included in this supplement, please view its Table of Contents.


Ann Intern Med. 1999;130(4_Part_2):364-367. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-130-4-199902161-00007
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Hospitalism as a career option is likely to reinforce the emphasis of traditional medical residency programs on inpatient care; may become an alternative area of emphasis in many subspecialty fellowship programs; and may even generate its own specific types of advanced training and certification. In the academic setting, subspecialists and their trainees are concerned that hospitalists may request fewer consultations, which could adversely affect subspecialists and the education of both fellows and residents. However, the focus and expertise of hospitalists is likely to improve inpatient education for students and residents and is appealing because it has the potential to improve the quality of inpatient care. Perhaps the major effect of the hospitalist movement on academic centers will be the creation of a cadre of physicians committed to critical pathways; clinical guidelines; quality assurance; risk management; clinical re-engineering; and the use of the inpatient service as a laboratory for developing, evaluating, and implementing initiatives to improve patient care. Although any fundamental change in the organization of clinical services brings with it the risk that essential components of the current system will be jeopardized, the hospitalist movement may have great benefits if it can develop safeguards to ensure seamless patient care and the appropriate use of subspecialty expertise.

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