A Career as a Hospitalist

By Alex • Health, State of Healthcare • 17 Jul 2013

As hospitals and the people that run them strive for greater efficiency and specialization, a new trend in hospital care has arrived. This is the birth of the hospitalist, a doctor who is specialized in caring for patients while they are hospitalized.

Why Do We Need Hospitalists?

Over the last decade, demand for hospitalists has grown as more and more hospitals shifted to this system to care for patients. There are many reasons why specialized doctors are needed in hospitals. It is far more convenient and efficient to have doctors who specifically care for hospitalized patients, and it also reduces some of the strain on primary care doctors. From the patient’s perspective, care is more readily available and customized to the patient’s needs in the hospital when the doctor is trained in hospitalized care. Patient safety is a major motivator for hospitals to demand hospitalists.

Why Become a Hospitalist?

Hospitalist medicine attracts med students because of hospitalists’ ability to work with the entire body rather than specializing on a specific body system. Doctors drawn to evidence-based diagnostics and care enjoy the variety of hospital medicine. The ability to treat patients day after day and watch them recover is very satisfying. Hospitalists also avoid much of the business side of medicine that is associated with working in a private practice, and often enjoy better hours than many other medical specialties.

Career Outlook

As more and more hospitals shift to hospitalist medicine, demand for specialized doctors has skyrocketed. Vacancies in hospitalist positions have grown at an average of around 14% a year. There are plenty of open hospitalist positions for those interested in this rewarding area of medicine.


Hospitalists are well-compensated, with a typical salary ranging from $175,000 to $250,000.

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