Hospitalists are doctors that specialize in hospital care. Most hospitalists, who are usually trained as internists, direct inpatient care.
Your primary care physician can refer you to a hospitalist or, if you are brought to the emergency room, need to be admitted to the hospital, and have no family doctor, you may be assigned a hospitalist. It's also not unusual for a surgeon to ask a hospitalist to manage a patient's medical needs.
If you need the care of a specialist like a cardiologist, urologist or surgeon, or if you require home care, your hospitalist oversees the care. Because their focus is on your inpatient care, they work as your medical advocate.
Information about the treatment you receive under the hospitalists care will be shared with your regular doctor.