We wonder: Are Italian hospital-based internists – the only specialists in global inpatient care – suited to this role?
We think so. However, current Italian training in internal medicine is focused mainly on scientific bases of diseases, pathophysiological, and clinical aspects. Concepts such as complexity or the management of patients with comorbidities are quite difficult to teach to medical school students and therefore often neglected. As a result, internal medicine physicians require a prolonged practical training.
Inspired by the Core Competencies in Hospital Medicine published by the Society of Hospital Medicine, this year in Genoa (the birthplace of Christopher Columbus) we started a 2-year second-level University Master course, called “Hospitalist: Managing complexity in Internal Medicine inpatients” for 35 internal medicine specialists. It is the fruit of collaboration between the main association of Italian hospital-based internists (Federation of Associations of Hospital Doctors on Internal Medicine, or FADOI) and the University of Genoa’s Department of Internal Medicine, Academy of Health Management, and the Center of Simulation and Advanced Training.
In Italy, this is the first concrete initiative to train, and better define, this new type of physician expert in the management of inpatients.