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Hospitalists are physicians who specialize in providing intensive care to hospitalized patients, working with the patient's primary care physician in either a consulting or primary care role.
Patients are typically admitted to the hospital by their primary care provider or through the Emergency Department. As inpatients on the Medical/Surgical nursing unit or in the Special Care Unit, they receive care primarily from the hospitalist service, which provides a continuity of care while also minimizing schedule disruptions for providers in the primary care offices.
Mayo's hospitalists are trained in internal medicine, managing both common illnesses and complex problems for adolescents, adults and the elderly. General internists are trained in the essentials of primary care internal medicine, as well as subspecialty areas including emergency internal medicine and critical care.
Care by an internist is characterized by extensive knowledge and skill in diagnosis and treatment. Internists consult with surgeons when surgical management is indicated.