A New Look at Family Medicine Hospitalists

A new survey spearheaded by SHM’s Family Medicine Task Force gives the first glimpse into the demographics, settings, and scopes of practice of this growing HM segment.

The research found that hospitalists trained in family medicine are experienced physicians who likely work directly for their hospital. More than half (51%) completed residency training more than 10 years ago, although the largest single group of respondents (37%) finished residency six to 10 years ago.

Virtually all respondents (96%) work full-time and a third are hospital employees—the most prevalent staffing model found in the survey. In addition to clinical practice, half of family-medicine-trained hospitalists have teaching and other leadership responsibilities.

The survey is based on responses from 81 of the 263 SHM members registered as family medicine physicians.

“As the number of family-medicine-trained physicians grows within hospital medicine, it’s important for us to understand the people behind it,” said research coauthor Claudia Geyer, MD, FHM.

Family-medicine-trained hospitalists are a growing phenomenon in the specialty. Survey data from 2007 to 2008 revealed that 3.7% of U.S. hospitalists are trained in family medicine; however, SHM’s recent membership data show that more than 6% of SHM members are registered as family medicine physicians.

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