A familiar face is a comforting image when someone needs to be admitted to the hospital. For patients who are used to going to one primary care physician, however, a hospital can be a confusing place, with many doctors involved in their care.

Today, patients can have a dedicated hospital-physician, a hospitalist, assigned to them for their entire length of stay. A hospitalist is a board-certified internist who works directly with patients and their primary care physicians. The hospitalist allows patients to focus on one lead doctor to talk about their concerns while they are in the hospital. A hospitalist also allows busy or distant primary care physicians the opportunity to maintain their office and clinic hours while keeping in constant communication with hospitalized patients.