Working as a hospitalist full-time or part-time can be a very rewarding career. It allows doctors to experience a variety of circumstances and can make it easier to fulfill the need for a flexible schedule. Hospitalists also have the benefit of working contractually, so there is some additional flexibility in terms of relocating or traveling. Despite the benefits of working as a hospitalist, there are some things that could be a concern. The key is to understand the challenges so you can anticipate how to handle them before you begin your work as a hospitalist doctor.
One of the toughest challenges hospitalist doctors face is communicating with staff. Depending on the hospital and the scheduling circumstances, staff already at the hospital might tend to view the hospitalist as someone not truly a part of their team. Before beginning your time at a hospital, look for ways to ease into place with the staff and focus on having open and respectful lines of communication with them.
Primary Care Physician Communication
Hospitalist doctors are expected to work with patients’ primary care physicians. Since there is no need for a primary care physician to visiting a patient in a hospital staff with a hospitalist, he or she will need to gather information for ongoing care needs another way. Expect to spend a portion of your time discussing patients with their primary care providers.
Hospitalists typically work unusual hours. They are essentially covering shifts that are difficult to fill, so the positions available might not be traditional hours. If you are looking for non-traditional work, this is a great option.
Hospitalists are expected to undergo continued training and education just like any other doctor. Before you settle your contract with a hospitalist group, find out the continued training requirements and determine how it will be handled. For most, continued training and education is a not an issue, but you still should know what to expect in advance before you make a commitment.
Hospitalists typically remain at a hospital for only a temporary period of time, though this is not always the case. There are hospitalists that stay in a position long-term and continue to renew their contract. Before you commit to a hospital, it is important to understand for how long you will be making the commitment and what is required from you if and when it is time to move on.
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