What is clear, however, is that in just 10 short years we have moved from having hospitalists defined in relationship to other physicians to having other physicians defined in relationship to hospitalists. This evolution is good for our field as we emerge from being the new kids on the block to being part of the existing paradigm.
Hope for the Future
The evolved definition of hospitalist reflects the maturing of our field and leaves me optimistic and hopeful for the future of hospitalists and hospital medicine. I hope that the dictionary will adopt our definition of hospitalist. I hope that one day hospitalist will be as well-known a word as pediatrician. I hope that as our field matures we never lose our enthusiasm and energy. And finally, I hope that our field stays unified and that the SHM continues to represent the broad range of physicians who work as hospitalists. Our field will be stronger and our achievements greater when we stand together, recognizing all that we share in common as hospitalists and respectful of the diversity that adds richness to our field. TH
SHM President Dr. Pantilat is an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.
- Wachter RM, Goldman L. The emerging role of “hospitalists” in the American health care system. N Engl J Med. 1996;335:514-517.
- Lindenauer PK, Pantilat SZ, Katz PP, et al. Hospitalists and the practice of inpatient medicine: results of a survey of the National Association of Inpatient Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 1999;130(4Pt2):343-349.
- Wachter RM. An introduction to the hospitalist model. Ann Intern Med. 1999;130(4Pt2):338-342.