Do we even know what a Hospitalist is? It wasn’t a specialty in all my years in medicine. An Internist used to be in charge of hospitalized patients, now there are a dozen different specialties and they needed someone to look at the whole person. That’s why we have to have Hospitalists. A family doctor just can’t keep up and be the attending physician. A Hospitalist prescribes the drugs that a family doctor has probably never heard of AND is instructed to cut down on the time you spend in the hospital!
You can see how all that can often end in tears. A Hospitalist doesn’t know you! Your family doctor may or may not know you. But in the hospital you are not eating what you normally eat; you are not sleeping like you do at home; if you take nutrients, you aren’t allowed to bring them into the hospital – everything is upside down and you are being judged by the Hospitalist with no grounding in your reality. A Hospitalist will run you through the recipe book of your disease. Even if your doctor has adjusted your meds for your specific needs – the Hospitalist will just go by the book and be shocked when your body rebels.
Is there a blowback on the Hospitalist? Yes indeed “Hospitalists Highlight Lack of Respect in 45% Burnout Rate.” The study was investigating the burnout suffered by Hospitalists, the list of causes is long: “working with critically ill patients, many deaths, unexpected changes in patient status, miscommunication among teams, medical errors, hospital systems problems that impede workflow, delays in discharge, administrative duties, coordinating procedures, and so much more, also add to the stress.” The study says that the major reasons for burnout were too many administrative tasks and lack of respect from administrators, employers, colleagues, or staff.
Lack of respect is such a weird complaint to turn up on a survey. I would ask if the specialty and the doctors deserve respect. Are they stepping on others toes? Are they seen to be working more for the hospital and not for their patients? Are they helping patients? Are they saving lives or instead is their focus on saving money?
As with most of these studies and reviews, the views of patients are not taken into account for one second. This is just another reflection of the BUSINESS of medicine – the patient is a bag of chemicals with replaceable parts, nothing more.
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Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
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