, Volume 23, Issue 8, pp 1269-1272,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 01 Jul 2008

Where Should Hospitalists Sit Within the Academic Medical Center?

Abstract

One of the most significant changes in US hospitals over the past decade has been the emergence of hospitalists as key providers of inpatient care. The number of hospitalists in both community and teaching hospitals is growing rapidly, and as the field burgeons, many are questioning where hospitalists should reside within the academic medical center (AMC). Should they be a distinct division or department, or should they be incorporated into existing divisions? We describe hospital medicine’s current trajectory and provide recommendations for hospital medicine’s place in the AMC. Local social and economic factors are most likely to determine whether hospital medicine programs will become independent divisions at most AMCs. We believe that in many large AMCs, separate divisions of hospital medicine are less likely to form soon, and in our opinion should not form until they are able to fulfill the tripartite mission traditionally carried out by independent specialist divisions. At community hospitals and less research-oriented AMCs, hospital medicine programs may soon be ready to become separate divisions.