State of the hospitalist movement
The hospitalist movement is growing. It is estimated that there were 15,000 hospitalists in North America in 2005. That number is projected to double in 5 years. There are multiple forces driving this growth, but this year there was the somewhat surprising multi-center study which failed to show that hospitalists had better clinical or economic outcomes than their non-hospitalist peers. This made the rounds in the blogosphere and I commented about it here.
Meanwhile there are signs that hospital medicine is moving toward establishment as a formal subspecialty. Robert Wachter, one of the founders and boosters of the movement, has been appointed to the board of directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine. A subspecialty textbook of hospital medicine is now in its second edition. Finally, there’s even a Wikipedia article about hospital medicine!