Chances are that your family doctor will not see you if you’re admitted
to the hospital. Instead,
you will be seen by a hospitalist, a doctor who is trained in internal medicine but does not have an office
outside of the hospital or see patients before their admission or after
their discharge.

The upside of having a hospitalist take over your care is that he or she
spends an entire day in the hospital and is available to monitor changes
in condition, follow-up on tests, and check in to see if prescribed treatments
are working.

The downside are:

  • you or your loved one will probably be assigned a hospitalist and have
    no say in who that person is;
  • he or she will not have the same familiarity with your medical history
    as primary physician; and
  • hospitalists usually have a quota or minimum number of patients they must
    see every day, which may limit the attention your medical problem receives.

As a patient, speak up for yourself. If your parent, spouse, or child is
admitted, act as an advocate. Make sure your regular doctor communicates
with the hospitalist and is aware of everything that is going on. And,
once you’re discharged, make sure your regular doctor knows what
went on during your hospitalization.

If you feel your hospitalist made an error in judgment during your stay,
or neglected treatment in some way,
contact our attorneys for a free consultation, or
request our free, easy-to-read guide to malpractice claims in Ohio.