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.®

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Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine