What Is A Hospitalist?

There are numerous jobs within the healthcare industry. For more standard health issues, you will likely visit a primary care doctor. For people who require more specific care, you may need the help of a hospitalist.

What Is A Hospitalist?
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If you have recently made a trip to a hospital, you may have been aided by a hospitalist. This guide will give you all the information you need to know about hospitalists, including their responsibilities and the skills you need to start this career.

What Is A Hospitalist?

A hospitalist is a type of doctor that works from a hospital. This physician will treat inpatients, meaning that they are based at a hospital instead of a doctor’s surgery. As a result, a hospitalist may also be known as a “hospital doctor”.

A hospitalist will have the same level of training as a doctor that delivers primary care. However, hospitalists tend to have particular expertise in pediatrics, gynecology, internal medicine, or neurology.

You may not be familiar with the term “hospitalist” because it is not as widely used as other healthcare professions. The word “hospitalist” was not devised until 1996, meaning that it is more recent than other terms relating to healthcare.

What Are The Responsibilities Of A Hospitalist?

The exact responsibilities of a hospitalist will depend on the area in which they have chosen to specialize. Some of the most common responsibilities of a hospitalist include:

  • Providing the required care for patients.
  • Conducting medical tests, such as diagnostic tests.
  • Write and maintain medical reports for patients.
  • Correctly writing prescriptions according to formatting requirements.  
  • Diagnose and treat various illnesses (see also “What Is A Pathologist?“). 

What Skills Does A Hospitalist Need?

If you want to become a hospitalist, you will need to develop the following skills:

  • Medicinal knowledge
  • Communication skills when communicating with patients and fellow members of the staff
  • Patience during intense situations
  • The ability to thrive under pressure
  • A caring and understanding attitude
  • Problem-solving skills that will help you to find the best solution
  • Observation skills to identify and understand symptoms
  • Teamwork skills to effectively work with other medical professionals 
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How Can You Become A Hospitalist?

Due to the large level of medical knowledge required daily, it will take a long time to become a hospitalist. To pursue this career, you will need to follow this career path:

1. Obtain A Bachelor’s Degree

After completing your high school education, you will need to set your eyes on a bachelor’s degree.

For undergraduate degrees, the majority of future medical school students will have majored in biology. However, other suitable subjects include nursing, biochemistry, public health, and psychology. 

2. Go To Medical School

To become a hospitalist, you must attend medical school. To be admitted into a medical school, you will need to pass the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). This is a form of standardized test that is relevant in the United States, Canada, and Australia. 

Generally, the medical school will take 4 years to complete. Yet, it can take up to 7 years depending on the course. During your time at medical school, you will pick up all of the skills and knowledge that you require for this career. 

3. Finish A Residency

In the healthcare world, a residency refers to a form of postgraduate training. During this training, a medical student will receive a more hands-on learning experience. As a result, these graduates can obtain the clinical skills that are required to become a hospitalist. 

After graduating from medical school, individuals will need to search for residency opportunities based on their specific niche. If you want to become a hospitalist with a more narrow niche, you will need to find a residency position that focuses on a specific area.

4. Complete A Fellowship

Fellowships are not always required, but they can nonetheless be a beneficial form of medical training. As with residencies, fellowships will give them the experience that will help them to pursue their specialist. 

When you apply for a fellowship position, a fellowship can help your resume to stand out. A fellowship can usually only be completed once you have finished your residency.

5. Obtain A Relevant Medical License

To legally work, hospitalists must possess a valid medical license. Once you have obtained this license, you can perform a wide range of medical activities, such as writing prescriptions.

In the United States, these medical licenses will be issued by individual states. Thus, you will need to research the requirements for these state-issued licenses.

6. Find A Hospitalist Job

Once you have developed all of the qualifications and skills that are required to become a hospitalist, you will be in a good position to get a job. Continue to research hospitalist positions until you find the perfect job.

How Much Does A Hospitalist Earn?

According to research, the average pay for a hospitalist in the United States is approximately $360,000.

It’s important to bear in mind that the earning potential for this job will differ depending on the level of education and experience of the hospitalist as well as the location of the job.

As a result, working as a hospitalist can be a high-paying career. 

Why Should You Become A Hospitalist?

It can be incredibly rewarding to work as a hospitalist. After all, you will be helping a wide range of people to overcome their various medical conditions.

When working as a hospitalist, you will be treating a diverse range of health issues, meaning that you will face different challenges every day.

There are also tons of benefits associated with this career, including insurance and paid time off. These benefits will differ between placements. 

This career is best suited to people who do not have a specific medical niche that they want to work in, as hospitalists will need to be rather versatile. 

Final Thoughts

Though the term “hospitalist” may not be as well-known as other jobs in the healthcare field, professionals with this career nonetheless perform a crucial role in providing healthcare.

This can be an incredibly lucrative career due to its high earning potential. Yet, you will need to cultivate a large number of skills and qualifications before becoming a hospitalist.


If you liked this article, you might enjoy our post, ‘What Is A Proctologist?‘.

Jason Sullivan
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