Where's my doctor?

Jun 9, 2003

The phone rang the other night, and my friend Elmer Abbo was on the other end. (I’ve mentioned him before.) He called to tell me about his upcoming move from the Philadelphia area back to Chicago, where he will become an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. Elmer will rejoin his mentor, David Meltzer, who is an expert in the new hospitalist movement. At first I thought Elmer said he’d be working as a hospice doctor, but then he corrected me and explained that a hospitalist is a general-practice physician that works exclusively in the hospital – as opposed to in a practice where doctors have regular patients. Hospitalists were a way for hospitals and health insurance companies to cut down on costs, but it seems that physicians who work just in hospitals and see the same conditions over and over actually provide better care and save both patients and hospitals money. See Meltzer’s paper (but keep in mind it only studied two physicians).

Anton Zuiker

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