About Hospitalists

Instead of seeing their primary doctor in the hospital, many patients in our hospitals are cared for by doctors called "hospitalists." Hospitalists are board-certified doctors and nurse practitioners who are specialists in providing care for hospitalized patients.

Contact a hospitalist

Call us with questions about the hospitalist program or to reach a hospitalist on duty.


Bethesda: 651-326-2400
St. John's: 651-326-7200


St. Joseph's: 651-326-3700
Woodwinds: 651-232-0395

Frequently asked questions


Q: What is the role of a hospitalist?

A: Hospitalists specialize in caring for hospitalized patients. They spend their work day in the hospital and do not run a traditional clinic practice. This allows them to be more available to patients and families during hospitalization, and allows traditional primary care doctors to be more available to patients in the clinic.

Because their specialty is hospital medicine, a hospitalist's main focus is direct patient care. Additional responsibilities can include teaching, research and leadership related to hospital medicine.

Q: Why would I see a hospitalist while I am in the hospital?

A: A hospitalist may care for you if:

  • Your primary care doctor has entrusted your care to the hospitalists while you're in the hospital.
  • Your primary care doctor is not on the medical staff or does not round at the hospital.
  • Your admitting physician requests a consult from the hospitalists.
  • You do not have a primary doctor.
  • Your medical needs require the care of a neuro-intensivist in the ICU (St. Joseph's).

Q: What can I expect from the hospitalist?

A: You can expect the hospitalist to visit you at least once each day to manage your care. When necessary, the hospitalist will come back to see you a second time during the day to answer questions or further progress your care. If you or your family wants to speak with the hospitalist, a meeting is easy to arrange and hospitalists are available around the clock.

Q: How will the hospitalist know anything about me and who will take care of me after I am discharged?

A: With your permission, the hospitalist team will contact your primary or referring doctor to notify him or her that you have been admitted and to get information about your health history.

The hospitalist will be in close contact with your primary and specialty care doctors to collaborate and ensure that you receive top quality care while you are being cared for in the hospital.

When you are discharged, a member of the hospitalist team will contact your primary doctor to share any post-hospitalization needs. Once out of the hospital, you will continue to be cared for by your primary physician.

If you did not have a primary doctor when you were admitted to the hospital, the hospitalist team will work closely with you and a social worker to assist you in selecting a primary care doctor to see in follow-up.

Q: What are the benefits of having a hospitalist manage my care?

A: Benefits of receiving your care from a hospitalist include:

  • Well-managed and coordinated care
  • Timely responses to test results and lab values
  • Multiple visits in a day (as necessary) to attend to your medical needs
  • Easier access to the hospitalist for communication
  • Family and interdisciplinary care conferences, as needed
  • Timely communication with your primary doctor (usually upon admission, if there are significant changes in your condition and at discharge)
  • A well-coordinated discharge plan with a referral back to your primary doctor
  • 24/7 access (St. John's, St. Joseph's and Woodwinds)
  • Post-discharge follow up with our Care Coordinator (Bethesda)