Narrator: This is Science Today. Hospitalists are physicians who are trained as general internists and work exclusively in the hospital setting. Dr. Andrew Auerbach, an associate professor of medicine and a hospitalist at the University of California, San Francisco, says there's a push in the field to develop linkages with critical care.
Auerbach: Because one of the big things that hospitalists are doing is providing care in the ICU, particularly in hospitals where there are no intensivists and that's a huge space. The critical care field is really in huge demand and there's no way they're going to have enough people to fill every ICU in the next ten years and hospitalists are filling that role. We think it's better than having nobody in ICU - it probably isn't nearly as good as having a critical care physician in there yet. So, we'd like to think hospital medicine and critical care have opportunity there to work effectively to help people.
Narrator: Hospitalist medicine is one of the fastest growing specialties in medicine. Auerbach recently found that hospitalist care resulted in shorter stays and lower costs to patients. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.