A hospitalist is a medical doctor who specializes in the care of patients in the hospital. These doctors do not have a regular office to see patients in the community and work only in the hospital. They are board certified or board eligible physicians from a variety of backgrounds appropriate to the diversity of hospital inpatient care.
Hospitalists benefit patients because they are available more to talk to patients and families, can arrange for consultations with other specialists more easily, and will communicate effectively with your family physician so they can focus on seeing more patients each day in the office, making getting an appointment with your doctor easier.
Your doctor may or may not choose to use the hospitalist service to care for their patients. If you are seen by a hospitalist they will ask you about your medical history to double check what they already know from talking to your regular physician but also to learn more about you and your current condition.
Most of the time, your regular physician and the hospitalist will have already talked about your condition when you were admitted to the hospital. Throughout your stay they will continue to communicate with each other. At the end of your stay, the hospitalist will send a final report to your physician. You will see your regular physician for your follow-up care. They can answer any questions and provide prescription refills if necessary.