Tips for New Hospitalists

Some tips that can help the new hospitalists in the first few weeks of new job.

Remember that the easiest and fastest way to learn hospital medicine is by talking to experienced hospitalists as many times as you need until you get a hold of the hospitalist work.

1. The existing or current hospitalists will tell lot of things as to how you should do things. They know that you have an excellent medical knowledge. But still, listen to them as they are teaching you the existing culture of the hospital. Try to adopt to the existing culture of the hospital. You might have worked in a different style before in your prior hospital. Learning the new hospitalist’s culture makes it easy for you.

2. When you come in contact with any specialists ask them for their cell phone numbers. Having their contact numbers will help you later immensely in making your work easier.

3. Listen more and talk less. Ask questions even though they are simple. This will help give a good first impression of yourself to others which will help a lot later.

4. Behave like an attending. Be very professional appearance and interactions. You will be respected as an attending if you behave like one. Nothing you say or do is unofficial. Literally, you are ‘on stage’ every minute in the hospital.

5. Try to not do moonlighting initially until you finish your board exam if you are fresh from residency

6. Don’t be in a rush to go home early. You will have higher chance of missing something about your patients.

7. You will usually start with 3 patients on first day or may be you just shadow someone on first day and slowly increase your patient load to take full load by the end of the week.

8. Do not hesitate to ask the current hospitalists for any help, both personal and at work. There will be lot of questions about your EMR if you have not used it before.

9. Sleep well every night, 7-8 hours at least. This will make your initial days very bearable.

10. Familiarize yourself with your new hospital building. It saves time for you to navigate around the hospital especially going to ED, Cafeteria, hospitalist office, different floors etc.

11. Know the fact that, there may be workstyle differences between the two alternating groups of hospitalists although majority of the things are similar.

12. Never totally believe the ED diagnosis for any patient. You have to still do your own assessment and come to your own diagnosis. For Example, diagnosis was PE but they signed out to us as CHF, and diagnosis was metatarsal stress fracture when it was signed out to us as cellulitis and was given one dose IV antibiotic too when skin was perfectly normal.

13. Ask experienced hospitalists for all the templates for H&P, Progress notes, Discharge summary, Consult notes, etc.

14. Get a list of specialists’ for GI, Hem/Onc, Cardiology, ID, Orthopedics etc if multiple private groups round in your hospital.

15. Try to look at EKG, CXR and other imaging yourself. Read the entire Radiology report for imaging studies as sometimes the radiologist may not include important points in Final Interpretation even though it was mentioned in the body of the report.

16. Do not hesitate to talk to the pharmacy if you have any dosing or formulary questions. Preventing errors is very important.

17. You may be bombarded with hundreds of things to do. Keep calm and do the best you can.

18. If you want your new job contract to be reviewed you can do it through this.

19. You can read this to learn about what to look for in a new hospitalist job.