Hospital Medicine is the Fastest-Growing Specialty in AmericaMarch 30th, 2012 1 Min read Blog
A recent article highlights the increase in doctors practicing as hospitalists, which is a term that was coined in 1996. There are now more than 30,000 physicians nationwide that are classified as hospitalists. Hospitalists are defined as physicians who take care of hospitalized patients but no longer have office based practices or do primary care. Even with medical schools seeing record-setting applications and residency slots filling faster than ever, there is still a need for more physicians. Most of the new demand is in hospital settings, and that is why we have seen such a large increase in the number of physicians practicing as hospitalists. The two main reasons young physicians like working as hospitalists are the financial and lifestyle considerations. Depending on the region, the starting salary for a hospitalist is $200,000, where an internist is $150,000. Hospitals also prefer the 7 on/7 off schedule, which provides more flexibility for young physicians. They can either spend more time with their family, or work extra hours through locum tenens opportunities when they are off to help pay down their student debt or save for a family member's college education. Offset these benefits with a traditional practice setting with 15-minute patient visits, paperwork, and regulatory burdens and it's easy to see why young physicians are seeing more benefits working as hospitalists.