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What Are Inpatient Specialists?

A. Leverkuhn
A. Leverkuhn

Doctors who specialize in providing health care to patients within hospitals or other medical facilities are known as inpatient specialists. Inpatient care is defined as care where the patient needs to stay in the hospital or facility for at least one night, where outpatient care refers to care that does not require overnight stays. A wide range of inpatient specialists benefit health care facilities that need to serve patients within their walls.

An inpatient specialist can specialize in one of many different areas of medicine. These professionals can be oncologists, obstetricians, or other kinds of credentialed physicians. They generally provide health care in a specific department of the hospital or medical network.

Inpatient physicians, also called hospitalists, must be prepared to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week.
Inpatient physicians, also called hospitalists, must be prepared to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week.

Frequently, where inpatient specialists have agreements with specific hospitals or facilities, these professionals are called hospitalists. The hospitalist comes to work in the hospital under some kind of arranged contract, where the specialist’s office is usually separate from the hospital or facility. These doctors often fill in when a hospital or health care facility does not have its own physicians on schedule. Nights, weekends, and holidays are times when patients may find hospitalists working within a hospital.

Some inpatient specialists focus on medical specialities.
Some inpatient specialists focus on medical specialities.

In many respects, inpatient specialists are not different from any other kind of practicing physician. The main difference is in the kinds of roles they take within an extended medical network, and the specific contracted nature of their jobs. Otherwise, these individuals have the same kinds of training and qualifications as other doctors.

Some problems with patient care, at least from the customer standpoint, can arise when patients expect to see their own doctors within a hospital or facility department, and instead encounter an inpatient specialist contractor when they arrive at a facility. As a popular example, many modern movies and television shows feature a women who goes to a labor and delivery ward to give birth, expecting her own OBGYN to deliver. Almost invariably, in these fictional situations, the woman realizes that “her” doctor is not onsite, and that some other unknown doctor will be attending. Careful study of this phenomenon in real life suggests that in many cases, the use of hospitalists is part of this misunderstanding between the patient and the medical office or department. Hospitals and facilities can benefit from thorough consideration of how to prepare patients for the realities of situations where hospitalists or inpatient specialists are used frequently within that facility.

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    • Inpatient physicians, also called hospitalists, must be prepared to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week.
      By: Monkey Business
      Inpatient physicians, also called hospitalists, must be prepared to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week.
    • Some inpatient specialists focus on medical specialities.
      By: jovannig
      Some inpatient specialists focus on medical specialities.