Niraj L. Sehgal, MD, MPH and Robert M. Wachter, MD reviewed the hospitalist field in the January 2007 issue of Resident and Staff Physician. It’s on a roll and there are plenty of opportunities. The authors offer tips for trainees considering a hospitalist career.
There is controversy over whether hospitalists improve outcomes. The authors briefly address that question by citing this review appearing in 2005 which concluded that “most evaluations” found hospitalist care to be associated with reduced charges and lengths of stay with no significant difference in quality of care or patient satisfaction. The analysis was compromised by lack of randomization in many of the cited studies. Sehgal and Wachter failed to cite this very large multicenter study presented the same year at the Society of Hospital Medicine which showed no difference in outcomes or utilization between hospitalists and non hospitalist peers. Do hospitalists provide better or more efficient care? Although we’d like to think they do we don’t have an evidence based answer.