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What is a Hospitalist?

What is a HospitalistA hospitalist is a physician who has dedicated his or her to career to providing care to hospitalized patients. By focusing exclusively on patients in a traditional hospital setting, these physicians have unique insight into what it takes to provide the best possible care to patients in their hospital. Hospitalists typically spend their entire shift in the hospital, making them readily available to their patients, unlike generalists who may see very little of a patient during their rounds. This accessibility allows hospitalists to anticipate the needs of their patients, forge a stronger relationship, and help hospital leaders improve the quality of care provided.

At the American Board of Physician Specialties®, we recognize the vital role that hospitalists serve in American hospitals, and we have developed the only comprehensive and dedicated board of certification for hospital medicine that is governed by hospitalists for hospitalists: the American Board of Hospital Medicine® (ABHM). Rather than relegating hospital medicine to a subspecialty, we felt it prudent along with hospitalist physician leaders to establish a dedicated board that recognizes physicians who have demonstrated their mastery of the core competencies of hospital medicine.

In order to be eligible for board certification through the ABHM, interested physicians must:

  • Have completed residency training in an approved ACGME, AOA, RCPSC, or CFPC program
  • Hold current board certification in family practice, internal medicine, or emergency medicine, or have completed an ABHM-approved fellowship program. Additional information, including requirements for physicians in Canada, can be found here.
  • Provide verification of having managed a minimum of 50 patients in the last 12 months
  • Submit documented case reports
  • Verify hospital privileges with a letter detailing active privileges signed by the Chief of the Department, Chair of the Credentialing Committee, or Chief of Staff
  • Be ACLS-certified

While the eligibility requirements for becoming a board certified hospitalist are rigorous, the benefits to becoming board certified in hospital medicine are significant. Increasingly, hospital groups are prioritizing hiring board certified physicians and medical specialists with proven firsthand experience in hospital medicine are in high demand. Our Diplomates are leaders in hospital medicine and have a proven track record of helping hospitals better meet the needs of their patients while improving the quality of care and improving operational efficiency.

To learn more about what it means to be a hospitalist and the eligibility requirements for board certification, contact us today. The ABPS is the official board certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®