Ask Our Doctors

What is a hospitalist?

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Dear Doctors:

My friend had a three-day stay at Portage Health recently for pneumonia. She was cared for by a hospitalist. What is a hospitalist?


Dear Wondering:

A hospitalist is a physician who spends most or all of their time caring for patients in the hospital. They do this during shifts when they remain at the hospital and have no other duties. They devote their time strictly to taking care of patients already in the hospital, managing new patients as they come in to the hospital, and providing consulting services when requested by other doctors. They are immediately accessible in person to patients and nurses in the hospital.

Hospitalists represent an emerging new medical specialty. They come from family medicine or internal medicine training and often with a focus on hospital and critical care. With dedication to hospital care they gain greater experience in providing care to ill patients in the hospital.

This program at Portage Health began in May 2008 and operates from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Most Portage Health physicians are requesting that the hospitalist care for their patients in the hospital. Dr. Terry Kinzel, Dr. Monsoor Khokhar and Dr. Lori Vaughan are our Portage Health hospitalists. They serve our patients in the hospitalist capacity.

Hospitalists offer the opportunity for improved service by their immediate accessibility and improved care from their greater experience in caring for hospitalized patients.

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