Scrutinizing a new hospital doctor: Snippets from the frontline

Hospitals are a buffer between life and death.

In the past, you chose your doctor based on trust and confidence in their medical decision-making. Nowadays, you might be admitted by a physician you have never met known as a hospitalist.

Most are recently trained, technologically suave, and replete with medical algorithms “templating” you through a diagnosis. They work a week at a time for consecutive twelve hour days, so at the end of their shift you get a new doctor to handle your algorithm.

To assure trust and confidence in your hospitalist, you or your advocate should:

get their business card;
check credentials with your State medical licensing board;
demand you have a medical specialist (consultant) on the case should you have a severe problem like heart attack or pneumonia;
make sure you are not discharged prematurely, nor packed off to a nursing home if you cannot yet sustain yourself at home;
be frank and ask them who writes their paycheck and crowd-source that organization;
inquire whether they receive a monetary “bonus” for expeditious care.

Assuring trust and confidence in your hospitalist will get you home healthy.

Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.

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