New Specialties: Hospitalists

What in the heck is a Hospitalist?

I know it sounds like some weird specialty from the future like in "Star Trek" where you cure Kidney Disease with a pill and cancer is thought of along the lines of the common cold. Well, it's not exactly that and we have a long way to go before curing kidney disease and cancer, but the Hospitalist is a job that wraps many responsibilities into one as there is a shortage in certain fields of medicine that have not yet been filled by graduates.

So, what does a Hospitalist do? Well, the best description I've read is that it's a combo of General Practice, systems analysis and nursing. The hospitalist is about to be the new catch-all in medicine. This might just be the job for you nutty types who can manage to get 20,000 degrees while the rest of us get one.

Discharges are typically handled by internists, but with jobs like this I think we're going to see some specialties kind of go away. A Hospitalist can handle discharges, and manage patient care, and figure out how everything is supposed to work, and care for patients all at the same time. It's kind of like the MacGyver of the hospital.

Does this mean that you have to be the jack-of-all-trades? Yep. Now, you don't necessarily have to have a medical degree and an MBA and all that, but if you're detail oriented and inquisitive then this might be the way for you to go.

Now, just because some people are calling this job "Hospitalist" doesn't mean that it would necessarily have to be a Doctor. With new specialties arising you might be able to find a way to do work like this without having the M.D.

Let's say you're good with numbers. Let's say you've been working in billing. Let's say you're a nurse and you work in discharge. Maybe you're the person to step up and take charge. Everyone knows you're detail oriented--everyone knows you're good with numbers--everyone know you could organize the hospital with your eyes closed. You might just be the person.

See, we have to account for the fact that some doctors may not want to do this kind of work and if that's the case then you get to step in. Even if you have little or no medical experience you might be able to come in with your business background and act as a "consultant" who makes all these things happen. Sound plausible, right?

So, if you're thinking that all these new specialties aren't for you--you're wrong--they could easily be for you and you just don't know it yet. Ask around--interview--put your wares out there and you might a Hospitalist--or some version of it--before you know it!

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