The hospitalist: a US model ripe for importing?

Ken Hillman
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05062.x
Published online: 20 January 2003

Australia must consider carefully the implications of developing a specialty of hospital medicine

A hospitalist is a clinician who safely manages a patient's acute hospital course and who specialises in hospital medicine, free of any compelling priorities of ambulatory care.1,2 Hospitalists work only with inpatients, taking over care from primary care physicians after admission to hospital. They are site-defined specialists with skills in general internal medicine,3 who care for patients with a wide range of organ derangements, illnesses (and ages) within the specific location of an acute hospital.

  • Division of Critical Care, Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool, NSW.


  • 1. Wachter RM, Goldman L. The emerging role of "hospitalists" in the American health care system. N Engl J Med 1996; 335: 514-517.
  • 2. Goldmann DR. The hospitalist movement in the United States: what does it mean for internists? Ann Intern Med 1999; 130: 326-327.
  • 3. Wachter RM. An introduction to the hospitalist model. Ann Intern Med 1999; 130: 338-342.
  • 4. Lurie JD, Miller DP, Lindenauer PK, et al. The potential size of the hospitalist workforce in the United States. Am J Med 1999; 106: 441-445.
  • 5. Wachter RM, Goldman L. The hospitalist movement 5 years later. JAMA 2002; 287: 487-494.
  • 6. Lindenauer PK, Pantilat SZ, Katz PP, Wachter RM. Hospitalists and the practice of inpatient medicine: results of a survey of the National Association of Inpatient Physicians. Ann Intern Med 1999; 130: 343-349.
  • 7. Wilson RM, Runciman WB, Gibberd RW, et al. The quality in Australian Health Care Study. Med J Aust 1995; 163: 458-471. <eMJA pdf>
  • 8. Hillman KM, Bristow PJ, Chey T, et al. Antecedents to hospital deaths. Intern Med J 2001; 31: 343-348.


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